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Our air pollution implementation plan

We have developed a master plan, called the State Implementation Plan (SIP), to keep the air clean. It describes how Washington implements, maintains, and enforces national air quality standards — also known as National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

The State Implementation Plan is an overarching guidance that outlines the process for reducing air pollution from a variety of sources including transportation, wood smoke, and industry. The plans are tailored and implemented to meet regional air quality needs.

What goes into our plan

The state's implementation plan provides communities the tools to restore air quality to meet federal Clean Air standards. The plans are put in place when a community is failing to meet federal standards for a particular parameter, such as ozone. Plans may be developed to attain or maintain standards, and may result in rules and programs — such as motor vehicle inspections — to achieve goals spelled out in a plan. They are continually updated with input from local clean air agencies and the public.

Final plans are submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval. Washington's State Implementation Plan (SIP) contains subsections addressing these concerns:

Attainment plans

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

Maintenance  plans 

Plans are developed and implemented to keep an area in compliance once it meets initial 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
    • Visibility Protection Program (Regional Haze)
    • Smoke Management Program

Transportation conformity plans

Because transportation is a significant source of air pollution, plans to ensure transportation activities meet national air quality standards are developed.

The State Implementation Plan process