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News Releases from Region 04

EPA Approves Redesignation of the Greenville-Spartanburg Area Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Standard

06/04/2018
Contact Information: 
James Pinkney (pinkney.james@epa.gov)
(404) 562-9183 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main)

ATLANTA (June 4, 2018) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is taking final action to approve the state of South Carolina’s request to redesignate the Greenville-Spartanburg Area from unclassifiable to attainment/unclassifiable for the 1997 Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) standard.

“Obtaining this standard is a great achievement for the Greenville-Spartanburg area,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Trey Glenn. “Clean air in these communities is evidence of the collaboration and hard work of all parties involved.”

For over 20 years, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) has worked collaboratively with EPA and other stakeholders to develop strategies for achieving and maintaining compliance with PM2.5 standards across the state. The Greenville-Spartanburg Area that is being redesignated is comprised of Anderson, Greenville, and Spartanburg Counties.

“The redesignation showing that Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson Counties is meeting the PM2.5 standard is a positive milestone for South Carolina,” said Rhonda Thompson, Chief of the SCDHEC Bureau of Air Quality. “South Carolina appreciates the EPA revisiting the unclassifiable designation and concurring that we have years of data showing we meet the standard.”

"This has been a long process that has included many partners, including the Chamber of Commerce, to ensure that the area meets the PM2.5 standard,” said Dean Hybl, Executive Director of Ten at the Top.  “It is definitely a great benefit to our area's health and economic development."  

Particulate matter is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particle pollution is made up of several components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller can potentially pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects.

For more information on the Greenville-Spartanburg Area final 1997 Annual Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) redesignation, visit docket number EPA-R04-OAR-2018-0017 at www.regulations.gov.

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