State Implementation Plan Background

This page last reviewed April 13, 2009

What is a State Implementation Plan

Federal clean air laws require areas with unhealthy levels of ozone, inhalable particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide to develop plans, known as State Implementation Plans (SIPs).  SIPs are comprehensive plans that describe how an area will attain national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The 1990 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act set deadlines for attainment based on the severity of an area's air pollution problem.

SIPs are not single documents. They are a compilation of new and previously submitted plans, programs (such as monitoring, modeling, permitting, etc.), district rules, state regulations and federal controls. Many of California's SIPs rely on the same core set of control strategies, including emission standards for cars and heavy trucks, fuel regulations and limits on emissions from consumer products. State law makes ARB the lead agency for all purposes related to the SIP. Local air districts and other agencies, such as the Bureau of Automotive Repair and the Department of Pesticide Regulation, prepare SIP elements and submit them to ARB for review and approval. ARB forwards SIP revisions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) for approval and publication in the Federal Register. The Code of Federal Regulations Title 40, Chapter I, Part 52, Subpart F, Section 52.220 lists all of the items which are included in the California SIP.  At any one time, several California submittals are pending U.S. EPA approval.