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Area Designations for the 2012 Annual Fine Particle (PM2.5) Standard

Initial Designations for States and Territories

On December 18, 2014, the EPA issued final area designations for the 2012 annual national air quality standard for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). EPA strengthened the annual fine particle standard to 12 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) in 2012.  After working closely with the states, and some tribes, EPA is completing the routine Clean Air Act process to identify areas as either “nonattainment”, “unclassifiable/attainment”, or “unclassifiable” based on air quality monitoring data from 2011-2013. Once designations are effective, they guide actions states, tribes and EPA must take to improve or preserve air quality in each area.  EPA will work with the states and tribes to share the responsibility of reducing fine particle pollution. 

EPA is deferring designations for eleven areas.  EPA expects additional monitoring data will provide three years of complete and valid data, which is needed for final designations. 

The tables below list the state areas and counties within them that EPA has designated nonattainment and unclassifiable.  The last table lists areas for which EPA is deferring its final decision. 

EPA is designating all other areas of the country “unclassifiable/attainment.”  These areas have monitoring data that shows they meet the standard or EPA has reviewed available data and determined they are likely to be meeting the standard and not contributing to a nearby violation.

Area Designations for the 2012 Annual PM2.5 Standard
December 18, 2014

Nonattainment areas:  counties with monitors measuring a violation of the standard as well as nearby counties that contribute the problem by emitting fine particle pollution, or pollutants that form it. 

State Area Name 2014 EPA Designated Nonattainment Counties
CA Imperial County, CA Imperial, CA (p)
San Joaquin Valley Air Basin, CA Fresno, CA 
Kern, CA (p) 
Kings, CA 
Madera, CA 
Merced, CA 
San Joaquin, CA
Stanislaus, CA 
Tulare, CA 
Los Angeles-South Coast Air Basin, CA Los Angeles, CA (p) 
Orange, CA 
Riverside, CA (p) 
San Bernardino, CA (p) 
Plumas County, CA Plumas, CA (p)
ID West Silver Valley, ID Shoshone, ID (p) 
IN Louisville, KY-IN Clark, IN 
Floyd, IN
KY Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY Boone, KY (p)
Campbell, KY (p)
Kenton, KY (p) 
Louisville, KY-IN Bullitt, KY (p)
Jefferson, KY 
OH Canton-Massillon, OH Stark, OH
Summit, OH
Wayne, OH (p)
Cincinnati-Hamilton, OH-KY Butler, OH
Clermont, OH
Hamilton, OH
Warren , OH (p)
Cleveland, OH Cuyahoga, OH
Lorain, OH
PA Johnstown, PA Cambria, PA 
Indiana, PA (p)
Delaware County, PA Delaware, PA
Lebanon County, PA Lebanon, PA
Allegheny, PA Allegheny, PA
Allentown, PA Lehigh, PA
Northampton, PA
6 states 14 areas 24 full counties, 14 partial counties

(p) – partial counties


Unclassifiable Areas:  insufficient quality assured monitoring data to assess compliance with the 2012 annual fine particle standard. 

State/Territory Area Name 2014 EPA Designated Unclassifiable Counties
PR Puerto Rico all areas
USVI Virgin Islands all of USVI (St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John)
IL Whole state Whole state
IN Chicago, IL-IN Lake, IN
Porter, IN
MO St. Louis, MO-IL St. Louis, MO
St. Louis City, MO
St. Charles, MO
Jefferson, MO
Franklin, MO
5 states/territories 3 states/territories, 2 areas 2 whole territories, 1 whole state, 6 counties, 1 city


Final Designations Deferred: EPA expects that additional monitoring data collected after 2013 will provide the requisite amount of valid data needed for designations. 

State Area Name 2014 EPA Deferred Counties
AL Columbus, GA-AL Russell, AL
FL Whole state Whole state
GA Washington County, GA Washington, GA
Savannah, GA Chatham, GA
Effingham, GA
Augusta, GA-SC Columbia, GA
Richmond, GA
Valdosta, GA Brooks, GA
Lowndes, GA
Columbus, GA-AL Muscogee, GA 
Atlanta, GA Bartow, GA
Clayton, GA 
Cobb, GA
Coweta, GA
DeKalb, GA
Fulton, GA 
Gwinnett, GA
Cherokee, GA
Henry, GA
Forsyth, GA
Paulding, GA
Douglas, GA
Brunswick, GA Glynn, GA
Albany, GA Dougherty, GA 
SC Augusta, GA-SC Aiken, SC
TN Whole state Whole state, excluding Hamilton, Marion, Sequatchie Counties (Chattanooga)
6 states 2 states, 8 areas 2 states, 24 counties


Tribal designations are available on the Tribal Designations page.

Recommendations from States and EPA Responses


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