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Lead Air Pollution

Applying or Implementing Lead (Pb) Standards

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Designations: How do we know if an area is not meeting the standards?

Areas within each state are "designated" as either meeting (attaining) lead standards or not meeting them. In some cases, an entire state may attain the standard. Those areas that exceed the standards are known as “nonattainment areas.” Nonattainment areas for lead and the other criteria air pollutants are listed in the Green Book. 

Along with developing the lead standards themselves (part of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, or NAAQS), EPA also develops requirements for how to go about attaining and maintaining those standards:

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What are state implementation plan (SIP) requirements?

The standards get applied, or implemented, through controlling air pollution from emission sources. Each state is required to develop a plan for how they will control air pollution within their jurisdiction. This plan is called a State Implementation Plan (SIP).

In general, the SIP consists of programs, (air quality monitoring and modeling, and emission inventories and control strategies) and documents (policies and rules) that the state uses to attain and maintain the NAAQS. A state must engage the public, through notices and public hearings, before sending the SIP to EPA for approval. Tribes may develop plans if they choose to do so, otherwise EPA will develop an implementation plan for them.

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How do states develop SIPs and start attaining the standards?

The following resources can guide states in developing SIPs and and implementing the lead standards:

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