SPeCS is a user-friendly, web-based system that enables state air agencies to submit and track SIPs for attaining the national ambient air quality standards, and related information, electronically to U.S. EPA for review and approval. Local air agencies may use the system as well. SPeCS is EPA’s preferred method for receiving SIP submissions and is comprised of three main components: 1) the State Plan Collection Interface; 2) the EPA Clearinghouse; and 3) the Public Dashboard.
Under the Clean Air Act, state and local air agencies are responsible for developing and submitting to U.S. 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. Such SIP 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.
SPeCS will provide the following benefits to state and local air agencies, tribes, EPA, and the public:
- A modernized user experience similar to that afforded on e-commerce sites
- Ability of air agencies to send comprehensive, immediate, and secure electronic submissions to EPA
- Cost savings on plan printing, shipping, filing, and storage
- An organized, consistent approach to collecting and reviewing plan information that will lead to faster and more efficient plan processing
- Enhanced tracking of compliance with Clean Air Act and regulatory requirements
- Substantial time saved by eliminating data entry in multiple systems
- Easy access to updated data and management reports to the public, states, and EPA
The Plan Collection Interface launched in January 2018. To date, approximately 200 state plans have been submitted through SPECS. The Interface is for use by states and includes searchable access to previously submitted plans and customized screens for different plan types, file upload capability and completeness checks.
The EPA Clearinghouse launched in February 2018 and supports concurrent plan review by multiple offices; provides a system for identifying, elevating, and resolving policy and technical issues in a consistent manner; and provides searchable access of submissions.
The Public Dashboard is set to launch in early 2020. The Dashboard is for use by states, U.S. EPA, and the public and will provide up-to-date plan SIP status information.