If you have any questions in regards to the above, please do not hesitate to contact our offices so that we may explain the amendments to the provisions of the Code in more detail. Our address is:
Fiddler González & Rodríguez, P.S.C., P.O. Box 363507, San Juan, PR 00936-3507. Our fax (787) 759-3108.
We welcome your questions and comments.
Juan Carlos Gómez Escarce
María L. González Hernández
Pedro J. Reyes Bibiloni
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered the annual health-based primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) from 15.0 to 12.0 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3). The revised primary NAAQS is expected to increase protection against premature mortality, increases in hospital admissions and the development of chronic respiratory diseases. EPA also revised the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting regulation to address the changes in the PM2.5 NAAQS. The PSD rules have been revised to provide limited grandfathering for permit applications for which public notice on the draft permit has been published or a preliminary determination for the permit has been issued prior to the effective date of the revised standard. EPA’s regulatory action also covers revisions to the PM data handling convention, the ambient air monitoring, reporting and network design requirements.
EPA maintained the current 24-hour secondary NAAQS for PM2.5 of 35 ug/m3 and the 24-hour NAAQS for particles of less than or equal to 10 micrometers (PM10) of 150 ug/m3 and one expected exceedance. With regard to the current 24-hour primary NAAQS for thoracic coarse particles (PM10-2.5) of 15.0 ug/m3, EPA also determined to maintain it, because the agency understands it provides protection against effects associated to short-term exposure to this particle size.
The revisions to the PM2.5 NAAQS will trigger actions from the States to identify and designate those areas that attain or not attain the revised standards. Depending on the designation, States may have to review their State Implementation Plan and develop measures to reduce emissions. EPA announced the revisions as a final rule to be effective 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register which publication is still pending. EPA is receiving comments to the rule.
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