The PM Advance program offers an opportunity for states, tribes, and local governments to work in partnership with EPA and each other within a framework that can help focus participants' efforts to keep their air clean. Participating areas will work with EPA to quickly evaluate, select, and implement control measures and programs. EPA can point to available tools and resources that may be used to resolve their issues, provide technical advice and other support, and, where appropriate, may recognize area that have been especially proactive and successful in pursuing reductions.
Participation in PM Advance is not a guarantee that future violations will be avoided, or that an eventual nonattainment designation will not occur. In addition, there are no guarantees that every measure and program undertaken within PM Advance would receive SIP "credit." EPA will not provide prior approval of measures/programs for eventual SIP purposes as part of PM Advance. We expect, however, that early reductions can generally be accounted for either (1) within an eventual SIP baseline, with regard to reductions achieved before the baseline year, or (2) as a control measure (to the extent the measure is quantifiable, surplus (in terms of not being double counted both as part of the baseline and as a control measure in the SIP), federally enforceable, and permanent and meets any other applicable requirements), with regard to reductions achieved after the baseline year. In addition, it is always possible for a state to adopt measures into its SIP before it becomes subject to any planning requirements.
EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program may provide preferred status to PM Advance participants when applying to the 2013 funding competition. Learn More.
To apply for participation in PM Advance, an area should submit a brief sign-up letter. This letter should express the areas willingness to coordinate with EPA, state, tribal and/or local stakeholders and to quickly implement measures to reduce PM. Each of the program eligibility criteria should be addressed (see the Eligibility page). Specific measures do not need to be identified in the sign-up letter, although if the applicant would like to highlight any existing measures and programs, they are welcome to do so. The letter should be signed by the appropriate state, tribal and/or local officials with the authority to implement the program and assist in leveraging staff and program funds as needed. A sample sign-up letter (Word Doc) (2pp, 24k) is available for your reference.
The sign-up letter should be sent to the EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) at ADVANCE@epa.gov. You can also fax to 919-541-0072 or FedEx/UPS to:
c/o Laura Bunte
4930 Old Page Road
Durham, NC 27703
EPA will review the letter to determine that the applicant(s) has/have met the basic program eligibility requirements, and will then indicate by e-mail or letter whether the applicant(s) has/have been accepted into the program.
EPA recommends that an area commit to the program for a 5-year term, with an option to renew. The area will develop a "path forward" that fully describes the measures and/or programs the area will implement and provide a schedule for the implementation of each one. Significant actions that are necessary or may affect implementation, such as required reviews/approvals and acquisition of equipment can be included in the schedule.
In lieu of a basic path forward, EPA suggests that participants consider developing a more robust "action plan" which may include, among other things:
- air quality trends in the area,
- a summary of measures and programs already implemented in the area,
- list of measures and programs to be implemented as part of PM Advance,
- a detailed implementation schedule,
- discussion of roles and responsibilities, and
- provisions for public/stakeholder involvement.
An action plan is not a requirement for participation in PM Advance. However, it could serve as a useful blueprint for the area to work from in working toward stakeholder consensus and as a focal point for public recognition of local efforts to clean the air.
Participants should begin to implement the path forward or action plan expeditiously. Areas should evaluate voluntary and mandatory control options and implement them - to the extent possible - immediately following development of the path forward or action plan. Periodic status updates should be provided to describe the status of each of the area's measures and programs, current air quality, stakeholder meetings/events, and any other information the area would like to highlight.
Areas seeking funding should visit www.grants.gov. This site enables organizations to electronically find and apply to over 1,000 competitive grant opportunities offered by the 26 Federal grant-making agencies, some of which may be useful in the context of this program.
Visit the Resources page for a sample sign-up letter and additional information.