The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Finds That Huntington-Ashland Area Has Attained the 1997 Annual PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
On September 7, 2011, EPA published a final determination that the Huntington-Ashland Area in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, currently designated as nonattainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, has attained the standard by its applicable attainment date of April 5, 2010. This area includes all of Boyd County and a portion of Lawrence County in Kentucky. This action does not constitute a redesignation of the Huntington-Ashland Area to attainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS; however, it does suspend the requirements for the area to submit attainment demonstration and associated reasonably available control measures, a reasonable further progress plan, contingency measures, and other planning SIP revisions related to attainment of the standard as long as the Area continues to attain the 1997 annual standard. The Area will remain designated as nonattainment for the 1997 PM2.5 annual NAAQS until such time as EPA determines the requirements for redesignation have been met and final action is taken by EPA to redesignate the Area.
Of note, in 2010, the Kentucky Environmental Foundation brought a lawsuit seeking to compel EPA to take final action on a 2008 attainment demonstration for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS contained within a Kentucky SIP submittal for the Kentucky portion of the Huntington-Ashland Area. On July 29, 2011, EPA published a notice of proposed consent decree that gave the agency until March 30, 2012 to take final action on the attainment demonstration. The consent decree was entered on September 22, 2011.
To view a complete PDF of the Third Quarter 2011 issue of the Air Quality Letter, click HERE.