More information: NAAQS
On August 5, 2013, a portion of Marshall County, including the Clay, Franklin, and Washington Tax Districts, was designated nonattainment by the EPA for the 2010 sulfur dioxide (SO2) standard. Under the CAA, the WVDEP was required to submit a state implementation plan (SIP) that provided for attainment within five years of the designation.
On March 17, 2017, the WVDEP submitted a SIP that demonstrated how the Marshall area would attain the SO2 NAAQS.
As a result of the SIP, SO2 emissions in the Marshall area have been permanently reduced. Monitored air quality shows ambient SO2 concentrations for 2017-19 were just 8 parts per billion (ppb) – far below the NAAQS attainment requirement of 75 ppb.
On March 18, 2020, the WVDEP requested the EPA redesignate the Marshall area as attainment and submitted a maintenance plan, demonstrating the area will continue to meet the NAAQS for 10 years. The redesignation request and maintenance plan were approved by EPA on Sept. 28.
Lowering the amount of SO2 in the atmosphere is beneficial to both the environment and citizens. When combined with water and air, it becomes acid rain – which causes deforestation, is harmful to aquatic life, and corrodes buildings and paint. It can also be detrimental to human health, especially the elderly and those suffering from respiratory conditions, such as asthma.
The designation goes into effect 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register.