The EPA has proposed to retain the current primary and secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter, including the standards for 24-hour and annual average PM2.5 and 24-hour PM10. The current primary standards are 12.0 µg/m3 for annual PM2.5, 35 µg/m3 with a 98th percentile form for 24-hour PM2.5, and 150 µg/m3 with a 1-expected exceedance per year form for 24-hour PM10. The current secondary standards are equal to the primary standards except that the level of the secondary annual PM2.5 standard is 15.0 µg/m3. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to periodically review existing NAAQS to reflect advances in scientific knowledge on the effects of pollutants on public health and welfare and revise the NAAQS if appropriate. The current review began in December 2014 and has involved a multi-step process to review scientific information and obtain input from the public.
EPA announced the decision to retain the current NAAQS in an April 30, 2020 Federal Register notice and announced that public comments would be accepted on the proposal. Public comments will be accepted until June 29, 2020. More than 50 comments had been received as of May 5, covering a range of perspectives with some advocating for limits well below the current standards. On May 5, 2020, EPA also announced that they will hold virtual public hearings on the proposal on May 20 and 21, 2020. The virtual public hearings will be held via teleconference with two sessions per day, each lasting from 9 am eastern time to 1 pm eastern time and 3 pm eastern time to 7 pm eastern time. EPA may close a session 15 minutes after the last pre-registered speaker has testified if there are no additional speakers. Those interested can register to provide oral testimony or to listen to the hearing at EPA's website. Those who wish to pre-register to speak must do so no later than May 14, 2020.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to your local Trinity office at 800.229.6655 if you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance.