Consideration for the repeal of the New Mexico Ambient Air Quality Standard (NMAAQS) for Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) was recommended in the Improving Environmental Permitting Initial Report, released November 14, 2012. New Mexico developed the NMAAQS in 1969, and then adopted the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in 1971. In 1987, the EPA revised its standards to replace TSP with particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10). However, New Mexico retained the TSP standard in order to safeguard the public against the soiling and nuisance effects of larger particulates (dust).
After studying the issue; however, the NM Air Quality Bureau (AQB) made a determination that the current state and federal air quality standards for PM10 and PM2.5 are sufficiently protective of public health and that that the repeal of the TSP standard will not result in deterioration of air quality. Furthermore, repeal of the standard would ease the permitting burden for regulated sources and the AQB. A public hearing was held on September 28, 2018 in Las Cruces to discuss the issue. Subsequently, the AQB developed a dust mitigation plan and associated fugitive dust rule that will apply in areas that are in danger of violating the PM10 NAAQS.
On October 26, 2018, the Environmental Improvement Board unanimously approved the repeal of the TSP NMAAQS and adoption of a Fugitive Dust Control rule. The effective date for the repeal of the TSP standard is November 30, 2018 and the effective date for adoption of the Fugitive Dust Control rule will be January 1, 2019. The department will conduct additional outreach on the implementation of the Fugitive Dust Control rule in early January 2019.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Trinity Albuquerque office at (505) 266-6611.