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New Mexico
Environment Department
Air Quality Bureau

Dona Ana County, New Mexico

Introduction

Doña Ana County is 3,804-square-miles in the south-central section of New Mexico with a population of 215,579. Doña Ana County borders El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. This area is considered part of the Paso del Norte air shed, which includes El Paso County, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. This region of the state has historically had air quality problems, including particulate matter and ozone pollution.

Presently, there are two nonattainment areas within Doña Ana County. In Anthony, NM, which lies on the border of Texas and New Mexico, there is a particulate matter 10 microns or less in size (PM10) nonattainment area. This area was designated nonattainment for PM10 by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1991.

In 1995, the EPA declared a 42 square-mile region in the southeast corner of the County on the border of Texas and Mexico as a marginal nonattainment area for the 1-hour ozone standard. The nonattainment area included the City of Sunland Park, Santa Teresa, and La Union, New Mexico. The 1-hour ozone standard was revoked by EPA in 2004 with the adoption of the new 8-hour ozone standard. Due to the revocation of the 1979 1-hour ozone standard and based on monitoring data, Sunland Park was designated attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard (0.080 ppm).

In October of 2015, the federal government lowered the NAAQS for ozone from 0.075 parts per million (ppm) to 0.070 (ppm). Due to the lowering of the federal standard, Governor Martinez recommended that a portion of Sunland Park, NM be designated as nonattainment of the new 8-hour ozone standard. On June 4, 2018 the EPA designated this area as nonattainment with an effective date of August 3, 2018 (83 FR 25776).

NMED is currently developing an Emissions Inventory for the nonattainment area to be submitted to EPA by August 3, 2020.  In addition, the department must review its nonattainment permitting rules (NNSR) and adopt revisions if required to comply with federal law by August 3, 2021.  The emissions inventory and NNSR review require revisions to New Mexico’s State Implementation Plan (SIP) and will be subject to public review and hearing requirements.  To learn more and stay up-to-date with the progress of these projects, please visit our ozone and proposed regulations websites and sign up for our ListServ email alerts.      

Exceptional Events and Dust Mitigation Plan

On September 16, 2016, the Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed revisions to the Exceptional Events Rule with the final rule published in the Federal Register on October 3, 2016. Section V of the preamble to the final rule (81 FR 68270) addresses mitigation and requires the development of mitigation plans in areas with “historically documented” or “known seasonal” exceptional events.  These events must be of the same type and pollutant (i.e., high wind dust/PM10) and recur annually or seasonally. Doña Ana and Luna Counties in southern New Mexico were identified by EPA as areas required to be covered by mitigation plans. NMED developed a single mitigation plan for the two counties and a copy may be found below. 

NMED developed a fugitive dust rule in conjunction with the mitigation plan to detail mandatory measures to abate certain controllable sources in Doña Ana and Luna Counties. A public hearing was held on September 28, 2018 in Las Cruces and the board adopted the rule on October 26, 2018.

Exceptional Events Demonstrations and responses from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can be found on our Exceptional Events Demonstrations  web page. 

 

Nonattainment Plans 

2007 Sunland Park Ozone Maintenance Plan 

Other Nonattainment Plans

Return to Main Windblown Dust Page

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