For Immediate Release
Contact: Phil Ulibarri
775.328.2414 or 775.772.1659
RENO, NV – A December 7, 2015 ruling by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved redesignation of the Truckee Meadows to attainment for the 24-hour coarse particle (PM10) standard. "This is great news for the Truckee Meadows," said Washoe County District Health Officer Kevin Dick. "This means that the air our residents breathe meets the health-based PM10 standard and EPA recognizes that the Truckee Meadows is expected to continue to meet that standard based upon the programs that we have in place," Dick added. This marks the first time that Washoe County will be designated as in attainment of all federal air quality standards since the adoption of the 1970 Clean Air Act. According to Dick the ruling will take effect January 7, 2016.
Air quality regulations in the United States are based on a set of air quality standards known as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, or NAAQS. There are standards for particulate matter less than ten and two and a half microns in diameter (PM10 and PM2.5), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and lead. These pollutants can harm your health and the environment, and cause property damage. Of these pollutants, particulate matter and ground-level ozone are the most widespread health threats.
Since the 1980's, the Washoe County Health District's Air Quality Management Division has been successfully developing programs to reduce PM10 emissions. Many of these programs continue today such as the wintertime Know the Code program, pre-treating streets with brine solution before winter storms, high efficiency street sweepers, and dust control requirements on grading and building projects.
Combined with the tremendous efforts of our community stakeholders, all of the citizens of the Truckee Meadows Basin now benefit from the collaborative effort over the years to reduce air pollution.
"This final rulemaking marks a significant milestone for the State of Nevada. With this action, the State of Nevada is now currently designated attainment for all NAAQS, including all of Washoe and Clark Counties as well as rural Nevada," said EPA Region 9 Associate Director Amy Zimpfer. "This reflects cooperation among the public, businesses, local, state and federal agencies throughout the State. I want to personally thank everyone involved for their efforts to adopt rules, conduct enforcement and compliance activities and implement voluntary programs to reduce air pollution. These efforts have collectively helped bring clean air to all in Nevada. While we have succeeded here, we recognize we have more challenges ahead with the new ozone standard and other local and regional air pollution issues. I am confident, together, we will rise to these challenges," added Zimpfer.
The complete EPA ruling can be accessed at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-12-08/html/2015-30487.htm.
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