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Proposed Air Quality Regulations and Plans   

Following are summaries of proposed new air quality regulations and proposed amendments to existing regulations and the New Mexico State Implementation Plan.  For updates, please periodically check back at this webpage. For information on new policies and procedures for air quality permitting, please go to the What's New in Permitting page.


Proposed Revisions to 20.2.1 NMAC, General Provisions

The New Mexico Environment Department’s Air Quality Bureau is planning to amend 20.2.1 NMAC - General Provisions to include language authorizing the electronic submittal of data, reports and permit applications in lieu of paper submittals. The draft amendments to 20.2.1 NMAC are planned to be proposed as a revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality and the Title V Permitting Program.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires state agencies which accept required submittals electronically, in lieu of paper submittals, to comply with the federal Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Rule (CROMERR), 40 CFR Part 3. Programs with an existing e-reporting system were required to submit an application to EPA for approval no later than January 13, 2010. The AQB has existing electronic submittal programs that require EPA approval. Therefore, the AQB submitted a draft CROMERR application to EPA in August 2012, receiving comments from EPA in March 2013. A rule amendment and subsequent certification of regulatory authority by the State Attorney General are required before EPA will approve this application. However, the AQB may continue to operate the existing e-reporting systems while the application is under review.

For more information about the CROMERR requirements and New Mexico's plans to comply, please go to http://www.nmenv.state.nm.us/aqb/CROMERRImplementation.htm.

The CROMERR rule provides the legal framework for electronic reporting to the EPA and states, tribes and local governments that are authorized to administer EPA programs. The intent of CROMERR is to maintain the same level of corporate and individual responsibility and accountability that exists in the paper environment when reporting is done electronically.

The AQB currently has the statutory authority and regulatory authority to accept e-submittals of excess emissions reports and emissions inventory data. To ensure that the AQB has sufficient authority, the AQB has prepared draft amendments to 20.2.1 NMAC to require data/reports/permit applications to be submitted electronically for any rule under Chapter 2, Air Quality (Statewide), of Title 20, Environmental Protection, for which the AQB is accepting electronic reports and applications.

The petition for a hearing, the proposed rule, and the statement of reasons may be downloaded from the below link. Please contact Neal Butt at (505) 476-4317 or neal.butt@state.nm.us if you have questions or comments concerning the draft rule.


Repeal of 20.2.12 NMAC – Cement Kilns. A public hearing in front of the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) was held on July 11, 2014 to consider the New Mexico Environment Department’s proposed repeal of 20.2.12 NMAC – Cement Kilns. The Environmental Improvement Board unanimously voted to repeal the rule. The repeal is in response to a NMED initiative to improve environmental permitting through revising or repealing outdated rules, while maintaining environmental protections and setting clear requirements for the regulated community. The rule will no longer be part of the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) or the NM State Implementation Plan (SIP) 30 days after the repeal is submitted to the State Records Center.

20.2.12 NMAC was adopted at the first hearing held for the NM SIP in 1970. Since that time, the rule has not changed and the level and format of the particulate matter (PM) emission limits have become outdated and unnecessary. Additionally, there are no cement kilns under NMED’s jurisdiction (which excludes Bernalillo County and Tribal Lands). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new, modified or reconstructed cement kilns in February 2013. In addition to setting PM emission limits for the cement kiln, the NSPS also limits emissions from the grinding, cooling and materials-handling steps in the manufacturing process. The NSPS PM emission limit for kilns is more stringent than that contained in Part 12. If a cement kiln were to be constructed in New Mexico, NMED would apply the more stringent NSPS requirements during the permitting process.

Please contact Michael Baca at michael.baca1@state.nm.us or at (575) 524-6300 for additional information.


Revisions to 20.2.74 NMAC - Permits - Prevention of Significant Deterioration. A public hearing in front of the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) was held on July 11, 2014 to consider the New Mexico Environment Department’s proposed amendments to 20.2.74 NMAC – Permits – Prevention of Significant Deterioration. The Environmental Improvement Board approved the proposal on a 4-1 voice vote. The adopted revisions are in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) December 9, 2013, amendments to federal rules 40 CFR 51.166 and 52.21. The amendments by the EPA to the federal rules address the January 22, 2013, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacatur and remand of two prevention of significant deterioration provisions that were promulgated by EPA in 2010. The two provisions include the Significant Impact Levels (SILs) and Significant Monitoring Concentrations (SMC) for particulate matter 2.5 microns in size and less (PM2.5). The Court’s vacatur of the PM2.5 SILs and the SMC means that these provisions can no longer be relied upon by either permit applicants or permitting authorities.

Please contact Gail Cooke at gail.cooke@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4319 for additional information.


Streamlining of 20.2.99 NMAC – Conformity to the State Implementation Plan of Transportation Plans, Programs and Projects. A public hearing was held on July 11, 2014 to consider the repeal and replacement of 20.2.99 NMAC. The Environmental Improvement Board adopted the repeal and replacement of this rule unanimously. This regulation, sometimes called “Transportation Conformity,” was first adopted on October 20, 1994 as a required element of the New Mexico State Implementation Plan. The purpose of the rule is to ensure that federal transportation projects do not contribute to air quality problems in certain areas of the state. Previous amendments were required to match changes in the federal rule. This adopted repeal and replacement deletes large portions of the current rule; those portions which apply to the state’s role in implementing the federal rule will be retained. A summary of the changes, public notice of the hearing and other documents are linked below.

Contact Cindy Hollenberg at cindy.hollenberg@state.nm.us or (505) 476-4356 for more information.


Revisions to New Mexico's State Implementation Plan for Nitrogen Dioxide under the Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for nitrogen dioxide on January 22, 2010.  The SIP certification matrix outlines the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) through (M) of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) and addresses how New Mexico will implement, maintain and enforce the revised NAAQS for nitrogen dioxide.

Please contact Mike Baca at michael.baca1@state.nm.us or at (575) 647-7983 for additional information.


Revisions to New Mexico's State Implementation Plan for Sulfur Dioxide under the Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revised the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for sulfur dioxide on June 2, 2010.  The SIP certification matrix outlines the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(A) through (M) of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) and addresses how New Mexico will implement, maintain and enforce the revised NAAQS for sulfur dioxide.

Please contact Mark Jones at mark.jones@state.nm.us or at (505) 566-9746 for additional information.


Repeal of 20.2.88 NMAC - Emission Standards for New Motor Vehicles.  A public hearing has been scheduled for November 7, 2013 to consider the repeal of 20.2.88 NMAC.  This regulation, sometimes called “Clean Cars,” was first adopted in 2007 to apply the California motor vehicle emissions standards, or “California standards,” within New Mexico beginning with model year 2011. The start date was later revised to 2016.  When the Clean Cars regulation was adopted, the California standards were more stringent than the federal motor vehicle emissions standards.  However, since that time the federal programs have been revised to achieve the same emissions reduction as the California standards.  As a result, the administrative burdens of implementing the Clean Cars regulation now outweigh the potential benefits of having a State program.

Please contact Lany Weaver at lany.weaver@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4322.


Amendment of 20.2.77 NMAC and 20.2.82 NMAC to Incorporate Federal Rules by Reference.  A public hearing has been scheduled for November 7, 2013 to consider amending 20.2.77 NMAC and 20.2.82 NMAC to incorporate by reference the new rules, corrections, revisions, and amendments to the federal New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) and Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards for Source Categories of Hazardous Air Pollutants (“MACT”), respectively, which were promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and published in the Federal Register from January 1, 2011 to August 29, 2013.

Please contact Lany Weaver at lany.weaver@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4322.


Adoption of Proposed Sulfur Dioxide Limited Maintenance Plan for Grant County, NM. The Environmental Improvement Board approved the Sulfur Dioxide Limited Maintenance Plan for Grant County, NM on October 8, 2013.

Section 175A of the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requires states to develop state implementation plans to provide for the maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for those areas that have violated a standard (referred to as a nonattainment area) and have sufficient data to prove that area is now in compliance with the standard. In February 2003, NMED submitted to EPA a Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan for the Grant County 24-hour SO2 nonattainment area. This submittal was subsequently approved by EPA on September 18, 2003.

Clean Air Act Section 175A(b) requires states to revise maintenance SIPs ten (10) years after EPA approves an area’s initial maintenance plan. The proposed State Implementation Plan revision to the Grant County Sulfur Dioxide Maintenance plan has been developed to satisfy the 10 year plan revision as required under Section 175A of the Federal Clean Air Act. The proposed State Implementation Plan revision does not impose any new regulatory requirements.

Please contact Gail Cooke at gail.cooke@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4319 for additional information.


Repeal of 20.2.98 NMAC– Conformity of General Federal Actions to the State Implementation Plan. The Environmental Improvement Board approved repeal of 20.2.98 NMAC on October 8, 2013.

The repeal of 20.2.98 NMAC - Conformity of General Federal Action to the State Implementation Plan was in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) amendments to the federal general conformity rule, 40 CFR Part 93, Subpart B on March 24, 2010. A portion of the amendments to the federal general conformity rule were in response to revisions made in August 2005, to the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) that removed the requirement for states to adopt and submit General Conformity State Implementation Plans under the Clean Air Act. Before this revision to SAFETEA-LU, states were required to adopt regulatory State Implementation Plans that corresponded to the federal general conformity rule.

In its March 2010 revision to the federal general conformity rule, EPA made the adoption and submittal of General Conformity State Implementation Plans optional rather than mandatory for states. The New Mexico Environment Department believes it would be the most beneficial to the state to opt out of the general conformity State Implementation Plan requirement, as allowed by the revised federal general conformity rule, by repealing Part 98.

Please contact Gail Cooke at gail.cooke@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4319 for additional information.


Revisions to 20.2.70 NMAC - Operating Permits and 20.2.74 NMAC - Permits - Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD). The Department is proposing to amend 20.2.70 NMAC and 20.2.74 NMAC in response to two final actions taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency amending related federal rules. The proposed amendments would defer until 2014 the consideration of CO2 emissions from biogenic sources when determining whether a stationary source meets the PSD and Title V applicability thresholds, and revise the PSD rules to establish plantwide applicability limitations (PALs) for GHG emissions.  The Environmental Improvement Board unanimously adopted these amendments at a public hearing on December 3, 2012. The amendments will become effective 30 days after filing with the New Mexico State Records Center. The amendments will become effective on February 6, 2013.

Please contact Kerwin Singleton at kerwin.singleton@state.nm.us or at 505.476.4350 for additional information


Revisions to New Mexico's State Implementation Plan for Interstate Transport under the Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(2)(D)(ii). The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board ("Board") unanimously voted to approve New Mexico's State Implementation Plan for interstate transport on June 2, 2011.

 

Please contact Rita Bates at rita.bates@state.nm.us or by phone at (505) 476-4304 if you have comments or questions on this plan.


The New Mexico Environment Department submitted a proposed Regional Haze State Implementation Plan (SIP) to the Environmental Improvement Board on February 28, 2011. For additional information, please go to our Regional Haze page.


Proposed amendments for 20.2.72 NMAC Construction Permits Exemptions and Portable Source Relocation

The New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau proposes to amend 20.2.72 NMAC Construction Permits. The proposed amendments to 20.2.72 NMAC consist of allowing 20.2.72.202 exemptions in streamline permit applications and amending the requirements for portable source relocations.

 

Please contact Bob Spillers at (505) 476-4324 or by e-mail at robert.spillers@state.nm.us for additional information.


Idling and Truck Stop Electrification - Click here for more information.

 

 

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