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Advance Program

Frequent Questions

How long should an area plan on participating in the Advance Program?
Participation should last for a period of five years or longer as needed/desired. Participants may terminate their involvement in the Advance Program at any time, with notice to EPA. Similarly, EPA may end a state, tribal or local government's participation, or may consider their status in the program to be inactive, such as when a participant does not demonstrate effort to make air quality improvements or does not provide updates over a protracted period.

How can inactive entities achieve active status in Advance again?

Inactive entities can reactivate their status in the program if (1) they currently meet the eligibility criteria as described in the program guidance, and (2) they send EPA an updated path forward.

Does the Advance Program establish new or avoid existing regulatory requirements?
No, this program does not create or avoid any regulatory requirements. Participation in the Advance Program does not allow the participant(s) or regulated entities in those communities to avoid applicable requirements under the Clean Air Act, EPA regulations, or an approved SIP. While the program itself does not establish any regulatory requirements for state, tribal, or local government participants, if, as part of the program, state, tribal, or local authorities adopt regulations, such regulations likely would establish enforceable requirements on the regulated entities (i.e. enforceable by the state or local government; state and local regulations may even become Federally enforceable if they are incorporated into the SIP).

Will states receive SIP credit for emission reduction measures undertaken as part of the Advance Program?
EPA will not, as part of the Advance Program, review commitments made under the Advance Program for purposes of approval or disapproval into a SIP. However, if an area participating in the Advance Program is subsequently designated nonattainment for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS, the 2015 ozone NAAQS, or any future revised PM2.5 or ozone NAAQS, emission reductions achieved from measures implemented as part of the program can generally be accounted for in future SIP planning, per the program guidance.

Can EPA guarantee that participating in the Advance Program will cause an area to remain in attainment?
EPA can provide no guarantees. A participating state, tribal, and/or local government's success in the program depends largely on its/their level of commitment and the effectiveness of the actions they choose to take.

How do Ozone Advance and PM Advance relate to each other?
Both are part of the Advance Program, which encourages actions that may help attainment areas create a better cushion against future nonattainment. Areas that sign up for both Ozone and PM Advance can develop and implement a single, multi-pollutant strategy that addresses both ozone and PM2.5.

For more information, refer to the Ozone Advance Program Guidance and the PM Advance Program Guidance.