The blue skies and scenic vistas of New Mexico are considered some of the most beautiful in the United States, but air pollution can threaten those views. Human-caused pollution of varied concentrations and sizes in the atmosphere can, along with natural events like dust storms and wildfires, impair or reduce visibility. Widespread visibility impairment caused by man-made pollutants over a broad geographic area is known as regional haze.

EPA Requirements on Regional Haze

New Mexico is required to develop and submit to EPA its own regional haze plans. NMED cooperates with the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department (EHD), which implements air quality regulations in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. Because NMED and EHD have separate jurisdictions, they submit separate Regional Haze State Implementation Plans to EPA.

Outreach, Education, and Engagement

Public comment is an important part of the regional haze planning process. Regional haze planning is currently in the second implementation period of planning. Resources for outreach, education, and comments received are identified below.

For inquiries related to the development of the NM Regional Haze SIP, contact Mark Jones at 505-629-6626 or  For inquiries related to the Albuquerque – Bernalillo County Regional Haze SIP, contact Allen Smith, City of Albuquerque at 505-768-2637 or Input on New Mexico’s Regional Haze Planning can also be sent to  

Regional Haze in National Parks and Wilderness Areas

EPA’s Regional Haze program addresses reduced visibility in national parks and wilderness areas. EPA refers to these areas as “Class I Areas.” There are 156 of these, 116 of which are in Western states.

New Mexico has 9 mandatory federal Class I Areas:

Regional Haze Facility Level Four Factor Analysis 

Large facilities that may have a significant impact on visibility are identified as facilities of interest. The facilities of interest undergo a “four factor analysis” to assess application of potential emission control technologies to reduce haze. These factors are: the cost of control, time necessary to install controls, energy and non-air quality impacts, and remaining useful life.

NMED and City of Albuquerque EHD have selected the following for Four Factor Analysis for the 2nd Implementation Period (2019-2028). Select the links below to download the submittals and correspondence for each facility.  

Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP) Analysis and Planning Support

Regional Sulfur Dioxide Emissions and Milestone Reports

New Mexico’s State Implementation Plan for regional haze, adopted by the Environmental Improvement Board on November 18, 2003, requires that New Mexico coordinate with Utah, Wyoming and the City of Albuquerque in producing an annual report to determine if emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from large industrial sources are less than the emissions milestone set in the plan. The Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP) compiles the emissions data from the three states and the City of Albuquerque into a single report for submittal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Final Regional Sulfur Dioxide Emissions and Milestone Reports are available at

Additional Resources

Discover more about regional haze planning and the views it protects in the following resources.

Air Quality Bureau contacts

Find a list of Air Quality Bureau contacts below:

Air Quality Bureau contacts

Ph: 505-476-4300

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