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Particulate Matter (PM)

Regulatory Actions

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Recommended Area Designations for the 2012 National Air Quality Standards for Fine Particles
August 19, 2014 -  In response to recommendations from state and tribal representatives, EPA has sent letters outlining the areas it’s intended designations for the annual fine particle air quality standards set in 2012.

Final Nonattainment Classification and Deadlines for Submission of State Implementation Plan Provisions for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particle Standards
On April 25, 2014, EPA classified as “moderate” nonattainment areas for the 1997 and 2006 fine particle pollution standards and set December 31, 2014 as the deadline for states to submit remaining implementation plan requirements.

Identification of Nonattainment Classification and Deadlines for Submission of State Implementation Plan Provisions for the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particle Air Quality Standards
On November 15, 2013, EPA proposed a rule to clarify PM2.5 implementation requirements to the states for current 1997 and 2006 nonattainment areas. EPA is issuing the rule in response to a recent decision of the D.C. Circuit Court addressing the role subpart 4 of Part D, title 1 of the Clean air Act in implementing the fine particle pollution (PM2.5) air quality standards. EPA is proposing to classify areas currently designated nonattainment for the 1997 and/or 2006 PM 2.5 standards as moderate and to set the deadline of December 31, 2014 for states to submit necessary SIP elements (including NSR provisions).

DC Circuit Court Decision on Fine Particle National Ambient Air Quality Standards Implementation Rule and New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration Permitting Rule

EPA Revises the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particle Pollution
December 14, 2012 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took important steps to protect the health of Americans from particle pollution by strengthening the annual health National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particles (PM2.5) to 12.0 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). The agency also retained the existing standards for coarse particle pollution (PM10).

Tables and Maps

EPA Announces Two Public Hearings on Proposed Revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particle Pollution
June 28, 2012 - EPA will hold two public hearings on the proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particle pollution.

One hearing will be held on July 17, 2012, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at:
William J. Green Federal Building
600 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-813-2583

The other hearing will be held on July 19, 2012, in Sacramento, California, at:
California Air Resources Board
1001 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-322-2990

EPA Proposes to Revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particle Pollution
June 14, 2012 - The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particle pollution. These revisions would strengthen the annual "primary" fine particle standard to protect public health and would establish a separate "secondary" fine particle standard to protect visibility in urban areas.

EPA responds to Senators' questions about the status of the current PM NAAQS review
October 14, 2011 – In the letter, the Administrator states that she is prepared to propose the retention - with no revision - of the current PM 10 standard and form when it is sent to OMB for interagency review.

EPA Makes Findings of Failure to Submit Infrastructure State Implementation Plans (SIPs) - 2006 PM2.5 Standard
August 31, 2011 - EPA issued findings that 6 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico missed Clean Air Act deadlines for submitting plans, or elements of plans, for implementing EPA's national air quality standards for the 2006 PM2.5.

EPA Makes Findings of Failure to Submit State Implementation Plans (SIPs) - 2006 PM2.5 Standard
May 28, 2010 - EPA issued findings that 29 states missed Clean Air Act deadlines for submitting plans, or elements of plans, for implementing EPA's national air quality standards for the 2006 PM2.5.

EPA Makes Findings of Failure to Submit State Implementation Plans (SIPs) - 1997 PM2.5 Standard
November 19, 2009 - EPA issued findings that 3 states missed Clean Air Act deadlines for submitting plans, or elements of plans, for implementing EPAs national air quality standards for the 1997 PM2.5.

EPA determines PM2.5 nonattainment areas have air quality that attains the level of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS
November 18, 2009 - Several PM2.5 nonattainment areas currently have air quality that attains the level of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA identifies these areas through clean data determinations published in the Federal Register. The clean data determination notices explains that certain SIP requirements are suspended by the published clean air determination for these areas.

  • Fact Sheet
  • EPA signed a final rulemaking notice (PDF) (20pp, 453k) determining that the Martinsburg-Hagerstown, WV-MD nonattainment area, the Parkersburg-Marietta, WV-OH nonattainment area, and the Wheeling, WV-OH nonattainment area have attained the level of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS.
  • EPA signed a final rulemaking notice (PDF) (32pp, 804k) determining that the Chicago, IL-IN nonattainment area and the Evansville, IN nonattainment area have attained the level of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS.

EPA Proposes Revisions Air Quality Index Reporting and Significant Harm Level for Particle Pollution
January 15, 2009 - EPA is seeking comments on a proposal to revise the Agencys Air Quality Index (AQI) states use to report daily concentrations for fine particle pollution, also known as PM2.5. The proposal also would set a significant harm level for PM 2.5, which states use in developing emergency episode plans. EPA will hold a public hearing March 5, 2009 in in the Dallas area.

EPA Makes Findings of Failure to Submit State Implementation Plans (SIPs) -- 1997 Fine Particle Pollution (PM2.5) Standard
October 3, 2008 - EPA issued findings that 21 states and territories missed Clean Air Act deadlines for submitting plans, or elements of plans, for implementing EPA’s 1997 national air quality standards for particle pollution. The notice also identifies 35 states who have submitted complete SIPs.

Clean Air Fine Particle Implementation Rule Will Help States Control Fine Particle Air Pollution
March 29, 2007 - EPA finalizes Clean Air Fine Particle Implementation Rule defining requirements for state plans to meet the 1997 national air quality standards for fine particle pollution.

EPA Completes Benefits and Costs Analysis of National Air Quality Standards for Particle Pollution
October 6, 2006 - EPA has completed its benefits and costs analysis of the national air quality standards for particle pollution, which EPA strengthened on Sept. 21, 2006. This regulatory impact analysis is designed to inform the public and states about the potential costs and benefits of implementing these important air quality standards. It is not a part of the standard selection process.

EPA Strengthens National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particle Pollution.
September 21, 2006 - Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued the strongest national air quality standards for particle pollution in our country’s history.

EPA's Provisional Assessment of Recent Studies on Health Effects of Particulate Matter Exposure Available
July 20, 2006 - In order to ensure that the EPA Administrator is fully aware of the new science before making a final decision on whether to revise or retain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter, EPA conducted a survey and provisional assessment of relevant new studies. This final report is the result of that effort.

Direct Final Fine Particle Pollution De Minimis Emission Levels for General Conformity Applicability
March 31, 2006 - EPA established “de minimis” emission levels for fine particle pollution. These emissions thresholds will be used to determine whether requirements would apply under EPA’s General Conformity rules.

EPA Extends Public Comment on Implementing Proposed Particle Standards
March 29, 2006 - EPA is announcing a 90-day extension to the public comment period for its advanced notice of proposed rule making on how best to implement any new standards that may result from the recently proposed revisions to the particulate matter air quality standards. The public comment period will now end on July 10, 2006, rather than on April 10, 2006.

EPA Seeks Public Comment on Implementing Proposed Particle Standards
February 3, 2006 - EPA is seeking public comment on how best to implement any new standards that may result from the recently proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter (PM). This action will assure the public that EPA is aware of and is considering the multiple issues associated with implementing any revised or new particulate matter standards.

EPA Proposes to Revise the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particle Pollution
December 20, 2005 - The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particle pollution. The proposed revisions would strengthen a fine particle standard, and would improve and refocus the coarse particle standards on those particles that are associated with public health concerns. EPA will accept comments for 90 days after the publication of the proposal in the Federal Register.

 

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