- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Counties in 12 states have been notified that they would not meet new, more tougher national air quality standards (NAAQS) for lead. EPA regional administrators sent letters to governors of all states and territories notifying them of their current status. The EPA notified 12 of those states that they have at least one area under consideration for a nonattainment designation based on the 2008 lead standards. A nonattainment area would include counties with monitors that show violations of the lead standard and nearby areas contributing to that violation.
Areas of concern were identified primarily near populations centers like Los Angeles, Tucson, Ariz., St. Louis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and suburban counties in Tennessee, Alabama, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Using data from currently operating monitors, the EPA will designate nonattainment areas by October 2010. States and tribes may comment on the plans outlined in the letters, and provide additional information to the agency by Aug. 16, 2010. The public may also review the agency's plans and provide comment through Aug.16.
On Oct.15, 2008, the EPA substantially strengthened the air standards for lead by tenfold, setting them at 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter. The agency also established requirements for siting new lead air monitors that took effect on Jan. 1, 2010. The EPA intends to make a second round of final designations in October 2011 using information from the new monitors. States and tribes may provide updated recommendations for the second round of designations by Dec. 15, 2010.
More information is available at www.epa.gov/leaddesignations
SOURCE: EPA Press Release