Clean Air Act: conformity implementation
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): T. Proctor; S. Ahuja; B. Callenberger; G. Gause; R. Miksovsky
Editor(s): D. C. Bryan
Publication Year: 1997

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • fire management
  • natural resource legislation
  • particulates
  • smoke management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 36116
Tall Timbers Record Number: 10462
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


To implement Section 176 (c) of the Clean Air Act, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a 'conformity' rule outlining the procedures and criteria to ensure that federal actions conform to the appropriate State Implementation Plans (SIP). The rule applies to areas of the country classified as 'non-attainment' or 'maintenance' areas for national air quality standards. Prescribed fire is among the many federal actions that may be subject to the ruling. The applicability of the conformity rule to prescribed fire is complex and the rule provides many options for implementation and interpretation. Federal agencies must select or develop a method to demonstrate conformity, provide the technical demonstration, and defend the approach as an indication that the federal action will not undermine the states' efforts to achieve clean air. This allows desirable latitude but should not distract agencies with prescribed fire programs from demonstrating conformity through consistent and logical procedures. Suggested procedures for addressing conformity of prescribed fire projects include: exemptions that apply to prescribed fire; conditions that allow a presumption of conformity; potential for long-term programmatic plans to demonstrate conformity; project level determinations; and opportunities to include smoke emissions in the State Implementation Plans. Understanding these procedures and associated issues will be necessary for compliance and a better understanding of impacts to prescribed fire programs.

Proctor, T., S. Ahuja, B. Callenberger, G. Gause, and R. Miksovsky. 1997. Clean Air Act: conformity implementation, in Bryan, D. C., Proceedings of the environmental regulation & prescribed fire conference: legal and social challenges. Tampa, FL. Center for Professional Development, Florida State University,Tallahassee, FL. p. 32-37,