EPA and Illinois announce St. Louis Area now meets PM 2.5 Air Quality Standard.

July 1, 2019

Credit: Wikipedia

On May 29, 2019 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its approval of Illinois’ request to formally redesignate the state’s portion of the St. Louis area to attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particulate matter. Recent air monitoring data show the entire St. Louis area now meets the national standard set to protect public health.

Recent monitoring data show that the St. Louis area is currently attaining the 1997 annual National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particulate matter. EPA is approving Illinois’ request to redesignate the state’s portion of the St. Louis area to attainment, as well as their plan to ensure that the area will continue to meet the fine particulate matter standard.

The EPA redesignated the Missouri portion of the bi-state St. Louis area, effective October 2, 2018. Once an area has been redesignated, businesses seeking air permits face fewer permitting restrictions.

The St. Louis area was designated as a fine particulate matter nonattainment area in 2004 based on a multifactor analysis, including air-quality monitoring data. Several federal regulations pertaining to fuel standards and power plants decreased emissions in the St. Louis area to help achieve the standard. Additionally, two federal consent decrees required emissions reductions from a local refinery and power plant.

EPA has now redesignated all nonattainment areas for fine particulate matter in Illinois. Nationally, the concentration of fine particulate matter has decreased 41% from 2000 to 2017.

What this means to you
EPA has formally redesignated the state’s portion of the St. Louis area to attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM 2.5. EPA has now redesignated all nonattainment areas for fine particulate matter in Illinois.

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