Our air quality implementation plan

We have written a general cleanup plan for air called the State Implementation Plan (SIP). The plan describes how Washington carries out, maintains, and enforces national air quality standards — also known as National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

The State Implementation Plan explains how Washington will lower air pollution from sources like transportation, wood smoke, and industry. Sections of the plan are customized to meet regional air quality needs.

What goes into our plan

Washington's implementation plan gives communities the tools to restore air quality to meet federal clean air standards. The plans are put in place when an area fails to meet federal air quality standards, such as for ozone. Plans may be developed to attain or maintain air quality standards. They can result in rules and programs — like vehicle inspections — to meet goals spelled out in a plan. Plans are continually updated with input from local clean air agencies and the public.

We send final plans to EPA for approval. Washington's State Implementation Plan (SIP) contains subsections addressing these topics:

Attainment plans

Attainment plans are developed and implemented when an area does not meet air quality standards. The plan is designed to bring an area into compliance for specific pollution.

Maintenance plans

Maintenance plans are developed and implemented to keep an area in compliance once it meets attainment goals.

Infrastructure, Rule, and Program plans

  • Infrastructure – Plan to implement new or revised national air quality standards.
  • Rule – Rules are adopted into the plan to make sure we meet or exceed national air quality standards.
  • State air quality programs – These programs are required by the federal Clean Air Act. Some examples are:
    • Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Plan (sunset Jan. 1, 2020)
    • Visibility Protection Program (regional haze)
    • Smoke Management Program

Transportation conformity plans

We develop transportation conformity plans to make sure transportation activities meet federal air quality standards. Transportation is a significant source of air pollution.

The State Implementation Plan process

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