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EPA identifies areas that do not meet Particulate Standards

Release Date: 08/19/2008
Contact Information: Gina Bonifacino, EPA/Air, Waste & Toxics Program, (206) 553-2970, or Tony Brown, EPA/Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203,

(Seattle, WASH. – August 19, 2008) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced intended designations for the 24 hour PM2.5 (Particulate Matter) standard for all state lands and for Indian country. EPA revised the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) on September 21, 2006 to provide increased protection of public health and welfare from fine particle pollution.

In Region 10, which includes Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Tribes, the following states will receive PM2.5 designation modification letters with proposed “non-attainment” designations for the following areas:

AK: Fairbanks and Juneau areas;
OR: Klamath Falls and Oakridge areas;
ID: Portion of Franklin County and Pinehurst area; and
WA: Tacoma area.

The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires that EPA announce our modifications to State’s boundary and designation recommendations no later than 120-days prior to promulgating final designations. Following this announcement States and Tribes will have the opportunity to demonstrate why any modification EPA proposes to their recommendations is inappropriate. We plan to issue final designations by December 18, 2008.

EPA intends to open a 30-day public comment period on our intended designations.

EPA recommended that states and tribes consider nine factors in assessing whether or not to include an area in the designated non-attainment area boundary. These factors are:

    • emission data;
    • air quality data;
    • population density and degree of urbanization;
    • traffic and commuting patterns;
    • growth rates and patterns;
    • meteorology (weather/transport patterns);
    • geography/topography;
    • jurisdictional boundaries; and
    • level of control of emission sources.

For additional information about this action; note below EPA's national news release.

For more information about this action visit:

View the National news release:!OpenDocument