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EPA Issues Final Rule Designating Kentucky Portion of Ashland-Huntington Area as Attainment for 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS


On December 26, 2012, EPA approved KDAQ’s request to redesignate the Kentucky portion of the tri-state Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio PM2.5 nonattainment area to attainment for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS and approved the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision containing a maintenance plan for that area.  The area is composed of Boyd County and a portion of Lawrence County, Kentucky.  Kentucky’s request to redesignate included three years of complete, quality-assured ambient air quality data to demonstrate that the standard has been met for the entire area.  The annual PM2.5 design values for the Huntington-Ashland area have declined since 2007.

In addition to the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, EPA has promulgated a 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS which was amended in 2006.  All counties in Kentucky are attainment for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 standard.  With the redesignation for the Huntington-Ashland area, only the Kentucky counties of Bullitt and Jefferson Counties will remain nonattainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 standard.  EPA approved redesignation of the Cincinnati-Hamilton area (Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky) on December 15, 2011.  As reported elsewhere in this issue of the Air Quality Letter, EPA recently revised the primary annual PM2.5 standard from 15 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) to 12 ug/m3.  The revised PM2.5 standard will become effective on March 18, 2013.

To view a complete PDF of the Fourth Quarter 2012 issue of the Air Quality Letter, click HERE.

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