Western Governors laud EPA’s state consultation on exceptional events guidance for prescribed fires

Western Governors appreciate the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) consultation with state air quality agencies on its “Final Exceptional Events Guidance" (Guidance) on prescribed fires.

"Smoke from wildfires can result in exceedances of the air quality standards for particulate matter and ozone, affecting public health, safety and transportation," asserts the letter signed by WGA Chair North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Vice Chair Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. "Prescribed fire, which is carefully managed and monitored by state air quality agencies and land managers, can reduce these effects."

The letter of Sept. 23, 2019 sent to EPA Acting Assistant Administrator Anne Idsal highlighted how "this meaningful exchange resulted in more effective policy by incorporating the views of state air quality agencies." Examples of that collaboration included an emphasis on a weight-of-the-evidence approach and greater detail on the certification process for Smoke Management Plans.

"Governors encourage EPA," the letter adds, "to apply the consultation process employed for the Guidance – which included the exchange of documents with state agencies prior to their public release – to other EPA actions affecting states."

Read, download the letter.

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