New Mexico
Environment Department

Contact Information:
(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)

Air Quality Bureau

Proposed Air Quality Regulations and Plans

Learn More!

The quick link menu below provides rapid access to the latest information and updates on proposed, new and amended air quality regulations and New Mexico State Implementation Plan (SIP) additions and amendments. Please check this webpage periodically for updates.

For information on policies and procedures for air quality permitting, please go to the Permitting Home Page.

Current Proposed Changes to Air Quality Regulations and Plans

Recently Approved Changes to Air Quality Regulations and Plans

Recent EPA Approvals of Regulatory Changes and Plans


Current Proposed Changes to Air Quality Regulations and Plans

The following are summaries of proposed new air quality regulations and proposed amendments to existing regulations and the New Mexico State Implementation Plan (SIP).  [return to quick links…]

 


NewProposed Good Neighbor State Implementation Plan Certification for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) announces an opportunity to comment on and request a public hearing on New Mexico’s proposed Good Neighbor State Implementation Plan (SIP) Certification for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The proposed Good Neighbor SIP Certification addresses Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), to confirm to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the State of New Mexico has the required “infrastructure” to implement, maintain, and enforce the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide NAAQS and fulfills its “good neighbor” obligations under the CAA.

All comments or requests for a public hearing must be received by May 17, 2021.* If a request for a public hearing is received during the 30-day public comment period, a hearing date, time and location will be announced at a later date.

For more information, contact Robert Spillers at robert.spillers@state.nm.us or by phone at (505) 476-4324.

*The revised public comment closing date is May 17, 2021, not May 15, 2021 as published in the Albuquerque Journal.

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NewProposed Amendments to 20.2.79 NMAC, Permits – Nonattainment Areas

The Air Quality Bureau (AQB) of the New Mexico Environment Department (Department) intends to propose to the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB), amendments to 20.2.79 NMAC, Permits – Nonattainment Areas (“Part 79”), to make technical and administrative corrections to the rule. Part 79 specifies permitting requirements for any new major stationary source or major modification of an existing source located within a designated nonattainment area; or located within an area designated attainment or unclassifiable and will emit a regulated pollutant that significantly impacts a nonattainment area for the same pollutant.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated a part of Doña Ana County near the Sunland Park area as a marginal nonattainment area for the 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (“2015 O3 NAAQS”) on August 3, 2018, requiring the AQB to develop a State Implementation Plan (“SIP”) revision that includes a nonattainment permitting rule (i.e., Part 79) and submit it to EPA by August 3, 2021.

In December 2018, EPA promulgated the 2015 O3 NAAQS implementation rule, which specifies nonattainment area SIP requirements.  This final rule, referred to as the 2015 O3 SIP Requirements Rule (“2015 O3 SRR”), is largely an update to the previous implementing regulations promulgated for the 2008 O3 NAAQS, and does not contain significant revisions from that previous rule.

The 2015 O3 SRR addresses a range of nonattainment area SIP requirements New Mexico must meet for implementation of the 2015 O3 NAAQS, including transportation conformity, nonattainment new source review (“NNSR”), emissions inventories, and emissions statement deadlines for SIP submissions and compliance with emission control measures in the SIP.

Pursuant to the 2015 O3 SRR, NMED submitted a baseline Emissions Inventory and Emissions Statement to EPA by the specified deadline of August 3, 2020.  For more information see https://www.env.nm.gov/air-quality/dona-ana-2/

As part of the effort to comply with the 2015 O3 SRR, the AQB analyzed Part 79 to determine if it was adequate to implement and enforce the standard. The AQB compared Part 79 with 40 CFR 51.165, Permit Requirements, and identified cross-reference inconsistencies and typographical errors that are addressed in the proposed revision.

Documents related to the proposed draft amendments to Part 79 are provided below.

All comments must be received by 5:00 PM MDT on May 21, 2021 in order for NMED to include a response in the hearing record. Anyone may present technical testimony, non-technical testimony or provide written or oral comments at the hearing. Please see the public hearing notice below for detailed instructions for participation.

  1. 20.2.79 amendment;
  2. filed Final Order and Statement of Reasons; and
  3. transcript

Please contact Neal Butt at (505) 476-4317 or neal.butt@state.nm.us if you have questions or comments concerning the proposed amendments.  [return to quick links…]


NewSO2 Data Requirements Rule (SO2 DRR) – Implementation of the 2010 1-hour Sulfur Dioxide Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard

The U.S. EPA requires each State to supply information regarding sources that emit greater than 2,000 tons per year of sulfur dioxide in order to determine compliance with the 2010 1-hour primary standard. The schedule of required information includes:

The Round 4 2010 SO2 NAAQS Designations action was signed by the EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, on December 21, 2020, pursuant to a court-ordered deadline of December 31, 2020. For administrative purposes only, and in compliance with requirements of the Office of the Federal Register, Acting Administrator Jane Nishida re-signed the same action on March 10, 2021 for publication in the Federal Register. Attainment/nonattainment designations for New Mexico were completed in December 2017. For more information on the 2010 SO2 NAAQS and the Round 3 area designations, visit EPA’s Round 3 2010 SO2 NAAQS Designations webpage.

In accordance with the ongoing requirements in the federal rule, NMED must submit annual reports of the San Juan Generating Station’s SO2 emissions by July 1st of each year following designation. The purpose of this report is to analyze whether or not new modeling is required for areas that employed modeling of actual emissions for characterization. The fourth annual report for San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) is now available for review and public comment before submission to EPA. The report shows that SO2 emissions continue to decrease from the modeling years of 2013-2015. 2018 emissions decreased significantly because two units were shut down in December 2017. The 2020 one-hour average and the one-hour maximum SO2 emissions showed decreases over the 2019 emissions. The three-year average for 2018-2020 showed decreased emissions when compared to the modeled three-year average for 2013-2015. Also, the annual maxima for 2018-2020 as well as the 99th percentile of 1-hour maxima for 2018-2020 significantly decreased from the modeled years of 2013-2015. Therefore, NMED recommends that new modeling should not be required at this time.

For questions related to the Data Requirements Rule or the SO2 NAAQS, please contact Anne Keller at anne.keller@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4333.  [return to quick links…]


New

Proposed Good Neighbor State Implementation Plan Certification for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) announces a public hearing on New Mexico’s proposed Good Neighbor State Implementation Plan (SIP) Certification for the 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The purpose of the hearing is to consider the matter of EIB 21-05 to certify that New Mexico has an adequate, federally-approved SIP that addresses CAA Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) regarding interstate transport of air pollution in this submittal. The proposed certification confirms to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) that the State of New Mexico has the required “infrastructure” in place under the current SIP to implement, maintain, and enforce the revised 2015 Ozone NAAQS and fulfills its “good neighbor” obligations under the CAA.

All comments must be received by 5:00 PM MDT on April 22, 2021 in order for NMED to include a response in the hearing record. Anyone may present technical testimony, non-technical testimony or provide written or oral comments at the hearing. Please see the public hearing notice below for detailed instructions for participation.

To Join the Hearing on May 28, 2021

Via video conference, go to: https://zoom.us/j/91027258886?pwd=V205Nm11OGE5ekhRSHI2MFhNYVQ3QT09

Meeting ID: 910 2725 8886

Passcode: 646285

Via teleconference, dial:  1-346-248-7799 and enter the meeting ID and access code above.

For more information, contact Michael Baca at michael.baca1@state.nm.us.[return to quick links…]


NewNegative Declarations

Negative Declarations may be submitted to the U.S. EPA when Emissions Guidelines are finalized for existing sources. Emissions Guidelines require States, Tribes and Local Agencies to develop plans to implement the guidelines (rules) for sources within their jurisdictions that meet the applicability criteria. When a State, Tribe or Local Agency does not have an applicable source covered by the rule, a letter to U.S. EPA stating such may be submitted in lieu of an implementing plan. This is termed a “Negative Declaration.”

Please contact Neal Butt at (505) 476-4317 or neal.butt@state.nm.us if you have questions or comments concerning Negative Declarations.  [return to quick links…]


Recently Approved Changes to Air Quality Regulations and Plans

The following are summaries of recently approved changes to New Mexico air quality regulations and the New Mexico State Implementation Plan. These changes were approved by either the Environmental Improvement Board or U.S. EPA within the last two years. Please check this webpage periodically for updates.  [return to quick links…]


 

Dust Mitigation Plan and Fugitive Dust Rule

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. The federal Clean Air Act (Section 319(b)(3)(A)) identifies five guiding principles for developing implementing regulations of exceptional events:

  1. Protection of public health is the highest priority;
  2. All ambient air quality data should be included in a timely manner in an appropriate federal air quality database that is accessible to the public;
  3. Timely information should be provided to the public in any case in which the air quality is unhealthy;
  4. Each state must take necessary measures to safeguard public health regardless of the source of the air pollution; and
  5. Air quality data should be carefully screened to ensure that events not likely to recur are represented accurately in all monitoring data and analyses.

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.

Dust Mitigation Plan for Doña Ana and Luna Counties

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. Copies of the final rule, hearing transcripts and statement of reasons to adopt the rule are provided below.

For questions related to the dust mitigation plan or fugitive dust rule, please contact Armando Paz at (575) 449-2983 or armando.paz@state.nm.us. To stay up to date on the progress of this regulatory action, please visit our website, www.env.nm.gov/air-quality/ and sign up for the Regulatory and SIP or Border Air Quality listserv bulletins.  [return to quick links…]

 


Repeal of the NM Ambient Air Quality Standard for Total Suspended Particulate

The Improving Environmental Permitting Initial Report recommended that the Air Quality Bureau consider the NM Ambient Air Quality Standards (NMAAQS) for Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) for repeal.

The NM standards were adopted in 1969, prior to the adoption of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in 1971. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised its standards in 1987, replacing TSP with particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10). The NM TSP standards were retained, to protect the public from soiling and nuisance effects of larger particulates (dust).

The Air Quality Bureau studied the issue and determined that a repeal of the TSP standards will not cause a deterioration in air quality; the current federal air quality standards for PM10 and PM2.5 are protective of public health. A repeal also eased the permitting burden for regulated sources and the Air Quality Bureau. A hearing was scheduled for September 28, 2018 in Las Cruces.

  • Public Notice of Rulemaking Hearing: Repeal of TSP Standard (English and Spanish)

In part to address soiling and nuisance effects of windblown dust, the Air Quality Bureau developed a dust mitigation plan and associated fugitive dust rule that applies in areas that are in danger of violating the PM10 NAAQS. (See “Dust Mitigation Plan and Fugitive Dust Rule” above.)

On September 28, 2018, the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) held a public hearing in Las Cruces, NM to consider the proposed repeal of the NM Ambient Air Quality Standard for TSP contained in Section 109 of 20.2.3 NMAC. The EIB unanimously approved the proposal at its October 26, 2018 meeting in Santa Fe. The effective date of the repealed standard was November 30, 2018.

The “Notice if Intent for 18-04 (R)” includes written testimony, proposed rule amendments, a noninterference demonstration under CAA 110(l), and copies of public notices and affidavits of publication.

For questions related to the repeal of the TSP NMAAQS, please contact Kerwin Singleton at (505) 476-4350 or kerwin.singleton@state.nm.us. To stay up to date on the progress of this and other regulatory actions, please visit our website, www.env.nm.gov/air-quality/ and sign up for the Regulatory and SIP listserv bulletins.  [return to quick links…]


 

Infrastructure State Implementation Plan Certification for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) submitted New Mexico’s proposed Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (iSIP) Certification for the 2015 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) to the EPA on November 16, 2018.  The iSIP certification addresses elements of a Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 110(a)(2), to confirm to the EPA that the State of New Mexico has the required “infrastructure” to implement, maintain, and enforce the 2015 ozone NAAQS, promulgated on October 1, 2015 (80 FR 65291, October 26, 2015).

This certification does not address CAA Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I), which prohibits emissions from New Mexico that significantly contribute to nonattainment or interfere with maintenance of a NAAQS in a downwind state. This section is often referred to as the “Good Neighbor Provision” and will be addressed in a future submission to EPA.

For more information, contact Michael Baca at michael.baca1@state.nm.us or by phone at (505) 476-4359.

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Municipal Solid Waste Landfills – New Source Performance Standards and Emission Guidelines

In August 2016, EPA issued revised standards for both new and existing municipal solid waste landfills (MSWLs). The New Source Performance Standards at 40 CFR 60 Subpart XXX apply to landfills constructed or modified after July 17, 2014. The Emission Guidelines at 40 CFR 60 Subpart Cf apply to landfills constructed or modified on or prior to this date. Both of these federal rules aim to reduce landfill gas emissions. The New Source Performance Standard were incorporated by reference into the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) on April 28, 2017.

Subpart Cf, promulgated under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, requires that states, tribes and local authorities with jurisdiction over existing landfills develop a plan to implement the emission guidelines. One aspect of that state plan, for New Mexico, is the amendment of 20.2.64 NMAC – Municipal Solid Waste Landfills (Part 64).

On April 28, 2017, the Environmental Improvement Board unanimously approved the adoption of the State Plan implementing the emission guidelines and the repeal and replacement of Part 64.

NMED submitted the approved State Plan implementing the Emission Guidelines in early May, 2017. On May 31, 2017, the EPA issued a 90-day stay on both the NSPS and EGs. This 90-day stay expired on August 29, 2017.  Therefore, the 2016 federal rules are currently in effect. However, EPA is reconsidering several issues in these final rules. EPA does “not plan to prioritize” the review of submitted state plans and issuance of a Federal Plan for states that failed to submit a state plan. For more information on these rules and rule history, visit EPA’s web page for landfills.

Please contact Neal Butt at (505) 476-4317 or neal.butt@state.nm.us if you have questions or comments concerning the State Plan development. For questions regarding implementation of the emission guidelines, contact EPA Region 6 (Boyce.Kenneth@epa.gov).  [return to quick links…]


Incorporation by Reference of federal NSPS, NESHAP and MACT rules

At a public hearing held April 28, 2017, the Environmental Improvement Board approved amendments to the dates of incorporation by reference contained in 20.2.77 NMAC (New Source Performance Standards), 20.2.78 NMAC (Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants), and 20.2.82 NMAC (Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards for Source Categories of Hazardous Air Pollutants). The previous update for Parts 77, 78 and 82 was September 15, 2015. Since the most recent date of incorporation, there have been 28 changes to various federal New Source Performance Standards, Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, and Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards. Adoption of the proposed incorporation by reference will change the “through date” in Parts 77, 78 and 82 to reference the changes made at the federal level through January 15, 2017.

Please contact Anne Keller at anne.keller@state.nm.us or at (505) 476-4333 for additional information.  [return to quick links…]


Revisions to the New Mexico State Implementation Plan Regarding Startup, Shutdown and Malfunctions

A public hearing, held September 9, 2016, approved revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for New Mexico. The SIP revisions are in response to a final action issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On June 12, 2015, the EPA published its final action to ensure states have plans in place that are fully consistent with the Clean Air Act and recent court decisions concerning startup, shutdown and malfunction (SSM) operations.

In response to this final action, the New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau proposed revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP). These SIP revisions entail removing applicable sections of 20.2.7 NMAC – Excess Emissions during Malfunction, Startup, Shutdown, or Scheduled Maintenance from the SIP. The proposal was unanimously approved by the Environmental Improvement Board on September 9, 2016.

For more information, please contact Robert Spillers at (505) 476-4324 or by email to robert.spillers@state.nm.us[return to quick links…]


Repeal of 20.2.37 NMAC – Petroleum Processing Facilities

At a public hearing held August 12, 2016, the Environmental Improvement Board unanimously approved the repeal of 20.2.37 NMAC. Part 37 was adopted in 1974
and specifies emissions limits and other operating requirements for existing (constructed prior to July 1, 1974) and new petroleum refineries and natural gas processing facilities. This rule regulates emissions from several processes associated with petroleum processing facilities and has not been substantially revised since 1984. The rule was identified in the November 2012 Improving Environmental Permitting Report for potential revision or repeal. The Air Quality Bureau has conducted a thorough analysis of the rule as well as other similar federal rules that apply to this industry, and has concluded that the rule can be repealed without a relaxation of emissions controls or an adverse effect on air quality

Please contact Mark Jones at mark.jones@state.nm.us or at (505) 566-9746 for additional information.  [return to quick links…]


Recent EPA Approvals of Regulatory Changes and Plans

The following are links to recently approved regulatory changes or plans. To view all EPA approvals related to the State Implementation Plan, please visit the electronic code of federal regulations.

NM Regulations:

Other:

  • Infrastructure for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards and Repeal of State Regulations for Total Suspended Particulate (effective October 18, 2019) 84 FR 49057 2015 O3 TSP Approval
  • FR – MSW Landfill 11 Sept 2019
  • Infrastructure and Transport for 2008 lead (Pb) NAAQS (effective July 13, 2015) 80 FR 33191
  • Infrastructure for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (effective July 24, 2015) 80 FR 36246, to include: Good Neighbor SIP for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (effective June 3, 2020) 85 FR 26361
  • Infrastructure for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS (effective July 24, 2015) 80 FR 36246
  • Infrastructure for 2010 SO2 NAAQS (effective November 13, 2015) 80 FR 61751
  • Infrastructure and transport for 2012 Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) NAAQS 83 FR 12493 (NM action begins on 12495)