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Paul R Orlowski
Air Quality Designations for Sulfur Dioxide
After EPA sets a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) or revises an existing standard, the Clean Air Act requires the agency to designate areas in the United States as “attainment” (meeting), “nonattainment” (not meeting) or “unclassifiable” (insufficient data). This website provides information on the process EPA, the states, and the tribes follow to designate areas for the health-based sulfur dioxide standard established in 2010
On June 2, 2010, EPA strengthened the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide (SO2). The revised standard will improve public health protection, especially for children, the elderly, and people with asthma. These groups are susceptible to the health problems associated with breathing SO2.
EPA revised the primary SO2 standard by establishing a new 1-hour standard at a level of 75 parts per billion (ppb). EPA’s evaluation of the scientific information and the risks posed by breathing SO2 indicate that this new 1-hour standard will protect public health by reducing people’s exposure to high short-term (5-minutes to 24-hours) concentrations of SO2.