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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
PUBLIC GOVERNMENT BUSINESS A to Z LIST

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions

Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas emitted from combustion processes. The majority of CO emissions to ambient air, particularly in urban areas, come from mobile sources. CO can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body's tissues and organs, such as the heart and brain. At extremely high levels, CO can cause death.

Current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for CO

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions for CO:

SIP Element EPA Action
Nashua Maintenance Plan Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 72 FR 51564 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Manchester and Nashua Limited Maintenance Plan Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 79 FR 13254 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
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Fine Particulate Matter (PM)
Particle pollution (also called particulate matter, or PM) is the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.

Particle pollution includes:

  • coarse particles, with diameters 10 micrometers and smaller (PM10);
  • inhalable coarse particles, with diameters larger than 2.5 micrometers but smaller than 10 micrometers (PM10-2.5); and
  • fine particles, with diameters 2.5 micrometers and smaller (PM2.5).

Fine particles come from a variety of sources, including vehicles, smokestacks and fires. They also form when gases emitted by power plants, industrial processes, and gasoline and diesel engines react in the atmosphere. Sources of coarse particles include road dust kicked up by traffic, some agricultural operations, construction and demolition operations, industrial processes, and biomass burning.

People most at risk from particle pollution exposure include those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults, and children. Research indicates that pregnant women, newborns, and people with certain health conditions, such as obesity or diabetes, also may be more susceptible to PM-related effects.

Particle pollution also causes reduced visibility (haze) in urban areas and many of our national parks and wilderness areas.

Current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions for PM2.5:

SIP Element EPA Action
Infrastructure SIP (1997 NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 77 FR 63228 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Area Designation Recommendations (2006 NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 77 FR 58688 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Infrastructure SIP (2006 NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 77 FR 63228 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
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Lead (Pb)
Lead is a metal found naturally in the environment as well as in manufactured products. Historically, the major sources of lead emissions have been fuels for on-road motor vehicles and industrial sources. But lead emissions from the transportation sector have declined dramatically in recent decades because of a federal ban on leaded gasoline for on-road motor vehicles. The major sources of lead emissions today are ore and metals processing and piston-engine aircraft operating on leaded aviation gasoline.

Once inhaled or ingested, lead distributes throughout the body in the blood and can result in a variety of adverse health effects, depending on the level of exposure. These include neurological effects in children and cardiovascular effects (e.g., high blood pressure and heart disease) in adults. Exposures to low levels of lead early in life have been linked to harmful effects on IQ, learning, memory, and behavior. There is no known safe level of lead in the body.

Lead is persistent in the environment and accumulates in soils and sediments through deposition from air sources, direct discharge of waste streams to water bodies, mining, and erosion. Ecosystems near point sources of lead demonstrate a wide range of adverse effects including losses in biodiversity, changes in community composition, decreased growth and reproductive rates in plants and animals, and neurological effects in vertebrates.

Current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Pb

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions for Pb:

SIP Element EPA Action
Area Designation Recommendations (2008 NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 76 FR 72097 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Infrastructure SIP (2008 NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol  
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Ozone (O3)
Ozone is found in two regions of the Earth's atmosphere – at ground level (in the troposphere) and at higher levels (in the stratosphere). Both types of ozone have the same chemical composition. While upper atmospheric ozone protects the Earth from the sun's harmful rays, ground-level ozone is the main component of smog.

Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). Because sunlight and hot weather accelerate ozone formation, ozone is mainly a summertime air pollutant. Its occurrence tends to be more pronounced in urban areas, where there are more emission sources. However, ozone and its chemical precursors can be transported long distances by wind. The result is that rural areas often experience high ozone levels as do urban locations.

Emissions from electric power utilities, industrial plants, motor vehicles, and vapors from gasoline and chemical solvents are the major manmade sources of NOx and VOCs.

Even relatively low concentrations of ozone can produce adverse health effects. Exposures to ozone can reduce lung function; aggravate chronic lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis; and promote other respiratory problems. Persons at highest risk include children, older adults, those with lung disease, and those who are active outdoors. Breathing ozone may contribute to premature death in people with heart and lung disease.

Ozone also affects sensitive organisms and ecosystems, including forests, parks, wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas. In particular, ozone harms sensitive vegetation, including trees and crops, during the growing season.

Current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for O3

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions for O3:

SIP Element EPA Action
Infrastructure SIP (1997 8-hr NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 76 FR 40248 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Certification of RACT for VOC and NOx (1997 8-hr NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 77 FR 66388 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Redesignation Request for Nonattainment Area (1997 8-hr NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 78 FR 6741 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Maintenance Plan for Former Nonattainment Area (1-hr NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol  
Area Designation Recommendations (2008 8-hr NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 77 FR 30088 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Infrastructure SIP (2008 8-hr Ozone NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol Letter Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Termination of the Stage II Vapor Recovery Program in New Hampshire Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 79 FR 13268 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
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Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is one of a group of highly reactive gasses known as oxides of nitrogen, or nitrogen oxides (NOx). Other members of this group include nitrous acid and nitric acid. While EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards cover all NOx, nitrogen dioxide is the component of greatest interest and the indicator for the larger group of nitrogen oxides. NO2 forms quickly from emissions from cars, trucks and buses, off-road equipment, power plants, and agricultural sources. NO2 contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine-particle pollution. NO2 is associated with a number of adverse effects on the human respiratory system, affecting the health of sensitive populations – children, the elderly, and people with asthma.

Oxides of nitrogen are inextricably linked with oxides of sulfur (SOx) with respect to their impacts on plants, soils, and waterbodies. NOx and SOx in the air can damage the leaves of plants, decrease their ability to produce food (photosynthesis), and decrease their growth.

In addition to these direct effects on vegetation, NOx and SOx have indirect impacts. When deposited on land and in estuaries, lakes, and streams, these pollutants can acidify and over-fertilize sensitive ecosystems. The deposition-related effects on plants, soils, water quality, and fish and wildlife may include changes in biodiversity and loss of habitat, reduced tree growth, destruction of fish species, and harmful algal blooms.

Current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for NO2

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions for NO2:

SIP Element EPA Action
Area Designation Recommendations (2010 Primary NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 77 FR 9532 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Infrastructure SIP (2010 1-hr NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol  
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Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is one of a group of highly reactive gasses known as oxides of sulfur (SOx). The National Ambient Air Quality Standards for SO2 are designed to protect against exposure to the entire group of gaseous sulfur oxides. SO2 is the component of greatest concern and serves as the indicator for the larger group. Other gaseous sulfur oxides (e.g., SO3) are found in the atmosphere at concentrations much lower than SO2.

SOx can react with other compounds in the atmosphere to form fine-particle pollution (PM2.5), which is harmful to the human respiratory system. By penetrating deeply into sensitive parts of the lungs, the fine particles can cause or worsen respiratory disease, aggravate existing heart disease, and lead to higher rates of hospital admission and premature death.

The largest sources of SO2 emissions are from combustion of fossil fuels at power plants and other industrial facilities. Smaller sources of SO2 emissions include various industrial processes; the burning of sulfur-containing fuels by locomotives, large ships, and non-road equipment; and the use of heating oil for commercial and residential purposes.

As described above, oxides of sulfur are linked with oxides of nitrogen (NOx) in their damaging impacts on plants, soils, lakes, and streams.

Current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for SO2

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions for SO2:

SIP Element EPA Action
Area Designation Recommendations (2010 Primary NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 78 FR 47191 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
Infrastructure SIP Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol  
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Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases. GHG emissions are of particular interest because of their contributions to climate change. The main greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and synthetic fluorinated gases (including hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride). CO2 is by far the most abundant of all greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere through man’s activity. But other greenhouse gases have greater impact in terms of their global warming potential (GWP). Global warming potential is generally expressed as carbon dioxide equivalency; for example, methane has a GWP about 21 times that of carbon dioxide. This means that emissions of 1 metric tonne of methane are equivalent to emissions of 21 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. While the fluorinated gases are typically emitted in smaller quantities than other GHGs, they have very high impacts, with some exhibiting GWP values above 10,000. Further information on greenhouse gas emissions may be found here.

GHG emissions from stationary sources are regulated through permitting programs authorized under the Clean Air Act (CAA). More specifically, EPA created the Tailoring Rule, which sets quantity thresholds for regulating GHG emissions under the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and title V Operating Permit programs. Additional information on the Tailoring Rule is available here.

DES is responsible for issuing PSD permits and Title V permits for major stationary sources in New Hampshire. To provide consistency with the Tailoring Rule, DES has made changes to state regulations with respect to definitions and permit applicability thresholds. The state rule revisions are contained in Env-A 101, Definitions and Env-A 600, Statewide Permit System. A description of these amendments is presented here.

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions for Greenhouse Gases:

SIP Element EPA Action
NH Rule Amendments for Greenhouse Gases Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 77 FR 5700 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol

Related Resources/Links:

 
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Air Pollution Transport [CAA Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)]
While some air pollution in New Hampshire originates from sources within the state, much of it is carried by the wind from out-of-state sources, sometimes from thousands of miles away. This movement of air pollution – called transport – is not a simple process. Pollutants in the air undergo complex chemical reactions, and pollution is added or removed from the air as it moves along with weather systems. Ozone, fine-particle pollution, NOx, and SOx are of particular interest in describing pollution transport effects. It is important to note that New Hampshire’s history of nonattainment for ozone is largely the result of air emissions transported from sources in upwind states.

Because of transport, achieving healthy air quality cannot be accomplished solely by reducing local air pollution emissions. To succeed in clearing the air, New Hampshire must work both within the state and with our neighbors to coordinate needed emission reductions. The federal Clean Air Act requires cooperation among states. In particular, the “good neighbor” provisions of Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) are intended to prevent a state from interfering with attainment or maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards in a neighboring state. more…

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions for Regional Transport:

SIP Element EPA Action
Transport SIP (1997 8-hr Ozone and 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol  
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Regional Haze [CAA Section 169A]
Section 169A of the federal Clean Air Act sets forth a national visibility goal to improve visibility in national parks and wilderness areas throughout the United States. It calls for “the prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility in mandatory Class I Federal areas which impairment results from manmade air pollution.” Responding to this goal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Regional Haze Rule to mitigate regional haze in these areas.

The Class I areas include many of our best known natural places, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Mount Rainier, Shenandoah, the Great Smokies, Acadia, and the Everglades. In New Hampshire, the two Class I areas are Great Gulf Wilderness and Presidential Range - Dry River Wilderness.

Regional haze is an atmospheric phenomenon that obscures the clarity, color, texture, and form of what we see. It is caused primarily by anthropogenic (manmade) pollutants but can also be caused by a number of natural phenomena, including forest fires, dust storms, and sea spray. Some haze-causing pollutants are emitted directly to the atmosphere by anthropogenic emission sources such as electric power plants, factories, automobiles, construction activities, and agricultural burning. Other haze-causing pollutants occur when gases emitted into the air (haze precursors) interact to form new particles that are carried downwind.

These emissions generally span broad geographic areas and can be transported hundreds or thousands of miles. Consequently, regional haze occurs in every part of the nation. Because of the regional nature of haze, EPA’s regulations require the states to consult with one another toward meeting the national visibility goal. more…

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions for Regional Haze:

SIP Element EPA Action
NH Regional Haze SIP Revision Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 77 FR 50602 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
NH Regional Haze SIP Revision Attachments 77 FR 50602 Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol
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Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) [CAA Section 182]
New Hampshire’s motor vehicle I/M program identifies vehicles that exceed or may exceed air pollution emission standards and requires such vehicles to be repaired. This program is an important part of the state’s strategy to attain and maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone.

Section 182(c) of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requires “enhanced” vehicle I/M programs in certain areas having a history of elevated concentrations of ground-level ozone, the chief component of smog. In addition, Section 184(b) of the CAA outlines I/M requirements for larger population centers of the member states of the Northeast Ozone Transport Region (“OTR”), which includes New Hampshire.

Based on monitored ozone values, portions of southern New Hampshire (all or parts of Hillsborough, Rockingham, Strafford, and Merrimack counties) have qualified in the past for enhanced I/M.

New Hampshire meets its I/M obligations through an Enhanced Safety Inspection (ESI), which is implemented statewide. The ESI has the following mandatory feature:

  • visual anti-tampering inspection of pre-1996 model year vehicles less than 20 years old;
  • a statewide On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) Inspection Program for 1996 and newer light-duty vehicles (less than 8500 lbs. GVWR); and
  • a Diesel Opacity Testing Program for heavy-duty diesel vehicles (greater than 10,000 lbs. GVWR). more…

Current/Recent New Hampshire SIP Revisions for Motor Vehicle I/M:

SIP Element EPA Action
NH Motor Vehicle I/M Plan (1997 8-hr Ozone, with PM Co-benefit) Adobe Acrobat Reader Symbol 78 FR 5292
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To review archived SIP revisions, please contact the SIP staff:

Charlie Martone, State Implementation Plan Analyst
29 Hazen Drive; PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-1089
(603) 271-1381 (fax)
charles.martone@des.nh.gov

 

 

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NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
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