- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The agency has set the new one-hour standard for NO2 at a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb). The EPA also is retaining the existing annual average standard of 53 ppb. According to most recent monitoring surveys, all U.S. industrial sources are currently meeting this standard. That could change, however, as extra monitoring requirements for municipalities along roads (ostensibly targeting vehicular pollution)
Concurrently, the agency is establishing new monitoring requirements in urban areas that will measure NO2 levels around major roads and across the community. Monitors must be located near roadways in cities with at least 500,000 residents, the agency said. Larger cities and areas with major roadways will have additional monitors. Community-wide monitoring will continue in cities with at least 1 million residents.
Working with the states, EPA will site at least 40 monitors in locations to help protect communities that are susceptible and vulnerable to elevated levels of NO2, the agency said in a press release.
The agency expects to identify or designate areas not meeting the new standard, based on the existing community-wide monitoring network, by January 2012. New monitors must begin operating no later than Jan. 1, 2013. When three years of air quality data are available from the new monitoring network, the EPA intends to redesignate areas as appropriate.