||18 THE THIRTY-SIXTH ANNUAL REYNOLDS LECTURE The Smelter Problem The states were required by the Clean Air Act of 1970 to submit, in January 1972, their "implementation plans" for meeting the air quality standards, which are the "threshold values" judged by the administrator to be conservative of human health and welfare. Many interesting things happened in the preparation of these plans, but one of the most interesting was the three-way contest between the smelter operators, the smelter states (Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington) and the EPA. In its guidelines to the states for preparing their plans, EPA gave examples of what constituted reasonable degrees of control for various industries, including copper smelters, where it recommended that 90% recovery of the S02 emitted in the smelting process was reasonable. Several of the states adopted such regulations in their first drafts of their plans. Then the smelter counterattack began. The basic approach was that the costs were exorbitant, and if forced to comply with them, the smelters would go out of business, at least in that state. The results were very impressive. Arizona, the largest copper-producing state, submitted its formal plan to control air pollution, in which the section on control of S02 (i.e., copper smelters) was one page in length. On that page it said, "This will be submitted later." The governor of Montana refused to go along with the rules for smelters proposed by the air pollution board, and deleted the whole section on copper smelters before signing and submitting the plan. Then the board submitted the complete plan without the governor's signature. EPA accepted the plan with the governor's signature as the official submission from the State of Montana. The board sued EPA to compel them to accept their plan as the official submission. In Utah, the original plan (subsequently modified) did not even discuss smelters under the proposed strategy for S02 control, mentioning as an aside that the smelter was under a visible emissions variance which would take care of the problem; the details of that variance were not revealed in the original plan. When all of these were studied by EPA, it was concluded that the only way to make any sense of it was for EPA to write the regulations for all the smelters, which they did. The group I worked with soon found itself dubbed "the smelter division of EPA." The smelters were, of course, outraged at the resulting regulations, as were some of the smelter-state governors. At the hearings on the subject in Salt Lake City, it was made clear that the regulations would be attacked in court, so that it will be some time before we know what the final outcome will be.