The Northern Nevada Public Health Air Quality Management Division (AQMD) is seeking public input on reports that demonstrate how wildfires in 2021 and 2022 worsened air quality, especially PM10 particles. These reports request that the EPA does not consider this data when making regulations. PM10 refers to very fine particles in wildfire smoke.
If the EPA agrees to this request, it means that future local air quality plans won’t be affected by PM10 from wildfires, but it won’t change AQMD’s responsibility for public health or air quality alerts.
The AQMD needs EPA approval for its 2nd 10-year PM10 maintenance plan, which is due next year. To gain approval, the area must meet the 24-Hour PM10 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) without exceeding it. Multiple wildfires in 2021 and 2022 led to 15 violations of the PM10 NAAQS in the Truckee Meadows PM10 maintenance area. Using the Exceptional Events Rule, AQMD can ask to exclude wildfire-related data when assessing compliance with the 24-Hour PM10 NAAQS.
Comments are welcome until midnight on November 26, 2023, and can be emailed to Health-AQ-Planning@nnph.org. Please ensure your correspondence includes your first and last name, as well as a complete mailing address.