VISTAS Regional Haze Project - Intro


"VISTAS" is the Visibility Improvement State and Tribal Association of the Southeast, the regional planning organization responsible for convening state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies and collaborating on regional air quality analysis work necessary to support development of regional haze state implementation plans (SIPs).  The ten SESARM states (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, and WV), the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and Knox County, Tennessee (representing the 17 Southeastern local air agencies) make up the governing body of the VISTAS project.  Originally organized to help states meet the first planning period deadline of December 17, 2007, VISTAS is now assisting the states during this second planning period for which revised regional haze SIPs are due by July 31, 2021.  The organizational structure of the VISTAS project follows:

  • STAD - State and Tribal Air Directors
    • Michelle Walker Owenby, Tennessee, Chair
    • The STAD sets policy and oversees project goals and costs.
  • CC - Coordinating Committee
    • Jim Boylan, Georgia, Co-chair
    • Jimmy Johnston, Tennessee, Co-chair.
    • The Committee oversees operations and acts as a liaison between the STAD and work groups.
  • TAWG - Technical Analysis Work Group
    • Randy Strait, North Carolina, Co-chair
    • Doris McLeod, Virginia, Co-chair
    • The Work Group oversees technical tasks.including emission updates, air quality modeling, and related technical tasks.
  • SIP Development Work Group
    • Doris McLeod, Virginia, Co-chair
    • Jimmy Johnston, Tennessee, Co-chair
    • The Work Group is designing a comprehensive template for regional haze SIPs.

The VISTAS project is supported by lead contractor Eastern Research Group, Inc. and subcontractor Alpine Geophysics, LLC and is funded by State and Tribal Assistance Grant (STAG) funds from U.S. EPA under Grant # XA-00D53517.

The VISTAS contract manager is John Hornback, Executive Director of Metro 4/SESARM.

VISTAS PROJECT SCHEDULE - updated June 25, 2020

  • December 2017 - Initiation of VISTAS Regional Haze Project (Phase II).
  • April 2018 - Initiation of technical work.
  • July 31, 2020 - Tentative date for completion of corrective air quality modeling to resolve an emissions input issue that occurred in the Spring 2020 modeling.
  • September 30, 2020 - Contract expires and technical project work ends.
  • October 30, 2020 - Reasonable progress analyses due from surrounding states (AR, MO, IN, OH, and PA).
  • July 31, 2021 - Regional haze SIPs are due for submittal to U.S. EPA.