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EPA approves El Paso County’s air quality maintenance plan

Release Date: 01/16/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or

(Dallas, Texas – January 16, 2009) The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a revision to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) to incorporate an air maintenance plan for El Paso County. The purpose of the plan is to ensure continued attainment of the 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for 10 years after the effective designation date of June 15, 2004.

“Approval of these revisions to the El Paso County SIP will bring us closer to improving air quality throughout Texas,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. “Residents who call El Paso County home will breathe cleaner, healthier air as a result of this revision.”

The State of Texas, through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), submitted the 8-hour ozone NAAQS maintenance plan for El Paso County to EPA on January 20, 2006. EPA approved the maintenance plan SIP revisions for El Paso County as meeting requirements of the Clean Air Act and being consistent with EPA guidance.

Only one State Implementation Plan (SIP) exists for each state. For Texas, this document was initially approved in May 1972. Rather than re-writing the entire SIP regularly, parts of the SIP are simply revised as needed. Revisions, which must be approved by the EPA, are necessary when new federal or state requirements are enacted, when new data improves modeling techniques, when a specific area's attainment status changes, or when an area fails to reach attainment.

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