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United States Environmental Protection Agency
2006 PM-2.5 Nonattainment Areas
This data layer identifies areas in the U.S. where air pollution levels have not met the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for 2006 PM-2.5 standards. These areas were designated "nonattainment" on October 8, 2009. The designations were published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2009. See 74 FR 58688. The EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for six principal pollutants, which are called "criteria" pollutants. Under provisions of the Clean Air Act, which is intended to improve the quality of the air we breathe, EPA sets limits on how much of a pollutant can be in the air anywhere in the United States. Pursuant to section 109(d) of the CAA EPA is required to review and promulgate new NAAQS every five years, as appropriate. This ensures that all Americans have the same basic health and environmental protections. The law allows individual states to have stronger pollution controls, but states are not allowed to have weaker pollution controls than those set for the whole country. EPA calls these pollutants "criteria air pollutants" because the agency has regulated them by first developing health-based criteria (science-based guidelines) as the basis for setting permissible levels. One set of limits (primary standard) protects health; another set of limits (secondary standard) is intended to prevent environmental and property damage. A geographic area that meets or does better than the primary standard is called an attainment area; areas that don't meet the primary standard are called nonattainment areas. For current information concerning the attainment status of these NAA please visit
This data set is intended to help provide the public with information to determine whether or not air quality within a given area is healthy. Once designations take effect, they also become an important component of state, tribal and local governments' efforts to control fine particulates.
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Data have restricted access due to the sensitive nature of the locational information presented and may only be shared with federal, state, local or other trusted EPA partners.
Data are considered current to the date of the original source material. Please check sources, scale, accuracy, current status and other available information. Please confirm that you are using the most recent copy of both data and metadata. Acknowledgement of the EPA would be appreciated.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS)
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Research Triangle Park
Metadata Reference Information
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FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata
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