According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), on Dec. 7, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM), retaining the current standard for both coarse PM (PM10) and fine PM (PM2.5).
State air permits require NSSGA members to meet the federal standard at aggregates operations. A reduction in the PM standard could impair production at member facilities, because emissions limits are based on production levels at an operation.
The Clean Air Act requires that EPA review each air quality standard every five years, and there is always pressure on EPA to reduce each standard. NSSGA has advocated for decades that this standard be based on peer-reviewed science, and the science indicates that the current standard is protective. The standard is expected to be published in the federal register by the end of the current administration.
“NSSGA, our members and state associations provided comments to EPA urging the retention of the standard, and we are pleased to see that EPA is making a decision based on sound science,” said Emily Coyner, senior director of environmental policy at NSSGA. “This standard provides increased certainty to aggregates operators.”