PM2.5, also known as “fine particulate matter,” is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets that when present in the atmosphere can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause health problems. Scientific studies have linked exposure to high levels of fine particulate matter to various heart and lung problems as well as respiratory symptoms.
“Significant reductions have occurred both locally and regionally to improve air quality in the Chattanooga area,” said Jimmy Johnston, manager of the Planning and Support Program of EPD’s Air Protection Branch. “We are pleased to take this next step towards having Georgia’s portion of the area formally re-designated to attainment under the Clean Air Act.”
The proposed State Implementation Plan revision includes Georgia’s request under the Clean Air Act that Georgia’s portion of the Chattanooga annual PM2.5 nonattainment area (Catoosa and Walker counties) be redesignated to attainment with respect to the 1997 National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for PM2.5 as well as Georgia’s plan to maintain attainment of the 1997 annual PM2.5 standard in Georgia’s portion of the Chattanooga area. The re-designation request and maintenance plan will be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Division for approval.
The proposed SIP revision may be viewed at georgiaair.org/airpermit/html/planningsupport/regdev/sips_and_revisions/sips_and_revisions.htm or during normal business hours at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Air Protection Branch, 4244 International Parkway, Suite 120, Atlanta, GA 30354. Copies may also be requested by contacting the Air Protection Branch at 404-363-7000 or the Environmental Protection Division director’s office at 1-888-373-5947.
For information on Georgia’s State Implementation Plan and the redesignation process, please contact Jimmy Johnston at 404-363-7014. For information about the public hearing, please contact Thomas Smith at 404-362-2790.