The State Planning Electronic Collaboration System is a user-friendly electronic system that replaces the traditional paper-based submission system and helps state and local air agencies and EPA plan, submit, and review air quality submissions more effectively.
Under the Clean Air Act, state and local air agencies are responsible for developing and submitting to EPA State Implementation Plans (SIPs) that provide for attainment, maintenance, and enforcement of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards and protection of visibility in certain national parks and other areas. The same agencies are also required to submit exceptional event notifications and demonstrations. Both SIP and exceptional event demonstration submissions are frequently comprised of multiple documents containing tens or hundreds of pages. The goal of this project is to update paper and electronic reporting systems.
The State Planning Electronic Collaboration System (SPeCS) provides the following benefits to state and local air agencies, tribes, EPA, and the public:
- More streamlined applications
- Cost savings
- Improved efficiencies across agencies
- Increased transparency through data availability
- Accountability of regulated entities and the government
All 50 states now use SPeCS. To date, more than 1,250 SIPs and 79 exceptional event demonstrations have been submitted through the system. Through the E-Enterprise SPeCS initiative, the SIP and exceptional event notification and demonstration submission processes have been streamlined, enabling EPA to manage and track submittals like never before.
Additionally, three online tools that serve as a public dashboard providing SIP element and area status information were released in March 2021. The three tools are:
- Nonattainment and Maintenance Area Population Tool
- Nonattainment and Maintenance Area Dashboard
- Required State Implementation Plan Elements Dashboard
Other planned updates include:
- Continue system maintenance and other enhancements
- Upgrade the process for Regional Haze submissions
- Expand the current SPeCS system to enable additional types of air quality submissions
- Explore the possibility for the system to accommodate tribal submissions in the future