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Overview of Public Participation Process

 

The Environmental Health Department (EHD), Air Quality Program, actively seeks public input on regulatory development initiatives.

When EHD is considering possible proposal of a new air quality regulation or plan, the AQP will perform the following steps at a minimum, prior to formal submittal of a regulatory proposal to the Albuquerque - Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board or the US Environmental Protection Agency. These initial public outreach steps are intended to provide stakeholders an early opportunity to review and comment on a proposal still in development. 

At all stages of the outreach process, EHD will provide language translation and interpretation as needed. EHD will also provide access to those with disabilities or special needs. EHD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, religion, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, spousal affiliation, or sex. If you believe you have been discriminated against, you may submit a complaint at https://www.cabq.gov/civilrights/filing-a-discrimination-complaint. You may also contact Torri Jacobus at [email protected] or (505) 768-4595. 

EHD will consider further outreach, beyond the steps described below, as necessary.  

  1. Schedule initial listening sessions as necessary. When EHD is considering proposal of a new regulation or plan, but has not yet put a draft proposal in written, EHD may schedule meetings with interested stakeholders to seek their input on what a future proposal should contain. 
     
  2. Distribute a draft document for review and written comment. Once EHD has prepared a written draft proposal, EHD will distribute a copy of the draft for review and comment, for a period of not less than 30 days. The notification will be in English and Spanish, with information on how to use Google Translator to translate the notice into additional languages. 

    EHD will notify stakeholders of the opportunity for written comment by the following methods. 

    1. By email to the list-serve of the Air Quality Control Board. This is an email list for persons who wish to be informed of Board related events, including consideration of potential new regulatory actions. To subscribe to the Board's list-serve, please email Stephanie Apodaca, Air Quality Control Board Liaison, at [email protected]

    2. By email to stakeholders identified as potentially affected by the regulatory action under consideration. Such stakeholders may include Neighborhood Associations and Coalitions, air quality permit holders, advocacy groups, associations, government agencies, and community organizations. 

    3. By posting to the website of the Air Quality Program.

    4. By other electronic or print methods as necessary. 

  3. Schedule follow-up meetings with stakeholders as necessary. At the time EHD notifies stakeholders of the opportunity to submit written comment, such notification may also announce the time, date, and place of any face to face meetings that will be held in regard to EHD's written regulatory proposal. If no such public meetings are scheduled, stakeholders may contact EHD to request one. 

    1. These meetings will allow stakeholders additional opportunity to provide information to EHD staff, who will make a record of views expressed. 

    2. Although these meetings with stakeholders are not required by statue or regulation, EHD believes they are an important tool in soliciting feedback from broad and diverse perspectives.
       
    3. EHD's notification of opportunity for written comment will also include information on how to request direct communication with EHD staff. 

  4. Review written and oral comments received. EHD staff will examine all feedback received, whether as written comments or during discussion at a meeting with stakeholders. Staff will analyze EHD's proposal in light of that feedback, with appropriate consideration of technical aspects and applicable law.

    1. Note that EHD regulatory proposals must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local air quality statutes and regulations.

    2. Staff analysis of stakeholder comments, along with technical and legal considerations, will determine whether to revise EHD's proposal in light of feedback received and, if so, how.

  5. Respond to stakeholder comments and revise proposal as necessary. EHD staff will send written responses to stakeholder comments and explain changes made to EHD's proposal in light of comments received. 

  6. Perform additional outreach as necessary. Based on information received during the above steps, EHD will decide whether additional outreach to stakeholders is needed in order to assure that the regulatory proposal is developed as fully and effectively as possible. Examples of additional outreach might include a new opportunity to provide written comment or additional public meetings. 

  7. Begin formal legal proceedings. Once the EHD has finalized its regulatory proposal, the Program will petition the Albuquerque - Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board for a public hearing or submit the proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    1. The Air Board process for considering new air quality regulations and plans is governed by the state Air Quality Control Act and by the Air Board's rulemaking procedures. These laws provide for the public to be notified of the hearing and to participate in the Board's consideration of a proposed regulation or plan. 

    2. Regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) require an opportunity for public participation in local hearings of the Air Board, when those hearings pertain to regulations or plans that EPA will review for possible inclusion in the federally enforceable State Implementation Plan.