U.S Code last checked for updates: Jun 15, 2021
§ 7407.
Air quality control regions
(a)
Responsibility of each State for air quality; submission of implementation plan

Each State shall have the primary responsibility for assuring air quality within the entire geographic area comprising such State by submitting an implementation plan for such State which will specify the manner in which national primary and secondary ambient air quality standards will be achieved and maintained within each air quality control region in such State.

(b)
Designated regions
For purposes of developing and carrying out implementation plans under section 7410 of this title
(1)
an air quality control region designated under this section before December 31, 1970, or a region designated after such date under subsection (c), shall be an air quality control region; and
(2)
the portion of such State which is not part of any such designated region shall be an air quality control region, but such portion may be subdivided by the State into two or more air quality control regions with the approval of the Administrator.
(c)
Authority of Administrator to designate regions; notification of Governors of affected States

The Administrator shall, within 90 days after December 31, 1970, after consultation with appropriate State and local authorities, designate as an air quality control region any interstate area or major intrastate area which he deems necessary or appropriate for the attainment and maintenance of ambient air quality standards. The Administrator shall immediately notify the Governors of the affected States of any designation made under this subsection.

(d)
Designations
(1)
Designations generally
(A)
Submission by Governors of initial designations following promulgation of new or revised standards
By such date as the Administrator may reasonably require, but not later than 1 year after promulgation of a new or revised national ambient air quality standard for any pollutant under section 7409 of this title, the Governor of each State shall (and at any other time the Governor of a State deems appropriate the Governor may) submit to the Administrator a list of all areas (or portions thereof) in the State, designating as—
(i)
nonattainment, any area that does not meet (or that contributes to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet) the national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard for the pollutant,
(ii)
(iii)
unclassifiable, any area that cannot be classified on the basis of available information as meeting or not meeting the national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard for the pollutant.
The Administrator may not require the Governor to submit the required list sooner than 120 days after promulgating a new or revised national ambient air quality standard.
(B)
Promulgation by EPA of designations
(i)
Upon promulgation or revision of a national ambient air quality standard, the Administrator shall promulgate the designations of all areas (or portions thereof) submitted under subparagraph (A) as expeditiously as practicable, but in no case later than 2 years from the date of promulgation of the new or revised national ambient air quality standard. Such period may be extended for up to one year in the event the Administrator has insufficient information to promulgate the designations.
(ii)
In making the promulgations required under clause (i), the Administrator may make such modifications as the Administrator deems necessary to the designations of the areas (or portions thereof) submitted under subparagraph (A) (including to the boundaries of such areas or portions thereof). Whenever the Administrator intends to make a modification, the Administrator shall notify the State and provide such State with an opportunity to demonstrate why any proposed modification is inappropriate. The Administrator shall give such notification no later than 120 days before the date the Administrator promulgates the designation, including any modification thereto. If the Governor fails to submit the list in whole or in part, as required under subparagraph (A), the Administrator shall promulgate the designation that the Administrator deems appropriate for any area (or portion thereof) not designated by the State.
(iii)
If the Governor of any State, on the Governor’s own motion, under subparagraph (A), submits a list of areas (or portions thereof) in the State designated as nonattainment, attainment, or unclassifiable, the Administrator shall act on such designations in accordance with the procedures under paragraph (3) (relating to redesignation).
(iv)
A designation for an area (or portion thereof) made pursuant to this subsection shall remain in effect until the area (or portion thereof) is redesignated pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4).
(C)
Designations by operation of law
(i)
Any area designated with respect to any air pollutant under the provisions of paragraph (1)(A), (B), or (C) of this subsection (as in effect immediately before November 15, 1990) is designated, by operation of law, as a nonattainment area for such pollutant within the meaning of subparagraph (A)(i).
(ii)
Any area designated with respect to any air pollutant under the provisions of paragraph (1)(E) (as in effect immediately before November 15, 1990) is designated by operation of law, as an attainment area for such pollutant within the meaning of subparagraph (A)(ii).
(iii)
Any area designated with respect to any air pollutant under the provisions of paragraph (1)(D) (as in effect immediately before November 15, 1990) is designated, by operation of law, as an unclassifiable area for such pollutant within the meaning of subparagraph (A)(iii).
(2)
Publication of designations and redesignations
(A)
The Administrator shall publish a notice in the Federal Register promulgating any designation under paragraph (1) or (5), or announcing any designation under paragraph (4), or promulgating any redesignation under paragraph (3).
(B)
Promulgation or announcement of a designation under paragraph (1), (4) or (5) shall not be subject to the provisions of sections 553 through 557 of title 5 (relating to notice and comment), except nothing herein shall be construed as precluding such public notice and comment whenever possible.
(3)
Redesignation
(A)
Subject to the requirements of subparagraph (E), and on the basis of air quality data, planning and control considerations, or any other air quality-related considerations the Administrator deems appropriate, the Administrator may at any time notify the Governor of any State that available information indicates that the designation of any area or portion of an area within the State or interstate area should be revised. In issuing such notification, which shall be public, to the Governor, the Administrator shall provide such information as the Administrator may have available explaining the basis for the notice.
(B)
No later than 120 days after receiving a notification under subparagraph (A), the Governor shall submit to the Administrator such redesignation, if any, of the appropriate area (or areas) or portion thereof within the State or interstate area, as the Governor considers appropriate.
(C)
No later than 120 days after the date described in subparagraph (B) (or paragraph (1)(B)(iii)), the Administrator shall promulgate the redesignation, if any, of the area or portion thereof, submitted by the Governor in accordance with subparagraph (B), making such modifications as the Administrator may deem necessary, in the same manner and under the same procedure as is applicable under clause (ii) of paragraph (1)(B), except that the phrase “60 days” shall be substituted for the phrase “120 days” in that clause. If the Governor does not submit, in accordance with subparagraph (B), a redesignation for an area (or portion thereof) identified by the Administrator under subparagraph (A), the Administrator shall promulgate such redesignation, if any, that the Administrator deems appropriate.
(D)
The Governor of any State may, on the Governor’s own motion, submit to the Administrator a revised designation of any area or portion thereof within the State. Within 18 months of receipt of a complete State redesignation submittal, the Administrator shall approve or deny such redesignation. The submission of a redesignation by a Governor shall not affect the effectiveness or enforceability of the applicable implementation plan for the State.
(E)
The Administrator may not promulgate a redesignation of a nonattainment area (or portion thereof) to attainment unless—
(i)
the Administrator determines that the area has attained the national ambient air quality standard;
(ii)
the Administrator has fully approved the applicable implementation plan for the area under section 7410(k) of this title;
(iii)
the Administrator determines that the improvement in air quality is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions resulting from implementation of the applicable implementation plan and applicable Federal air pollutant control regulations and other permanent and enforceable reductions;
(iv)
the Administrator has fully approved a maintenance plan for the area as meeting the requirements of section 7505a of this title; and
(v)
the State containing such area has met all requirements applicable to the area under section 7410 of this title and part D.
(F)
The Administrator shall not promulgate any redesignation of any area (or portion thereof) from nonattainment to unclassifiable.
(4)
Nonattainment designations for ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter (PM–10)
(A)
Ozone and carbon monoxide
(i)
Within 120 days after November 15, 1990, each Governor of each State shall submit to the Administrator a list that designates, affirms or reaffirms the designation of, or redesignates (as the case may be), all areas (or portions thereof) of the Governor’s State as attainment, nonattainment, or unclassifiable with respect to the national ambient air quality standards for ozone and carbon monoxide.
(ii)
No later than 120 days after the date the Governor is required to submit the list of areas (or portions thereof) required under clause (i) of this subparagraph, the Administrator shall promulgate such designations, making such modifications as the Administrator may deem necessary, in the same manner, and under the same procedure, as is applicable under clause (ii) of paragraph (1)(B), except that the phrase “60 days” shall be substituted for the phrase “120 days” in that clause. If the Governor does not submit, in accordance with clause (i) of this subparagraph, a designation for an area (or portion thereof), the Administrator shall promulgate the designation that the Administrator deems appropriate.
(iii)
No nonattainment area may be redesignated as an attainment area under this subparagraph.
(iv)
Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(C)(ii) of this subsection, if an ozone or carbon monoxide nonattainment area located within a metropolitan statistical area or consolidated metropolitan statistical area (as established by the Bureau of the Census) is classified under part D of this subchapter as a Serious, Severe, or Extreme Area, the boundaries of such area are hereby revised (on the date 45 days after such classification) by operation of law to include the entire metropolitan statistical area or consolidated metropolitan statistical area, as the case may be, unless within such 45-day period the Governor (in consultation with State and local air pollution control agencies) notifies the Administrator that additional time is necessary to evaluate the application of clause (v). Whenever a Governor has submitted such a notice to the Administrator, such boundary revision shall occur on the later of the date 8 months after such classification or 14 months after November 15, 1990, unless the Governor makes the finding referred to in clause (v), and the Administrator concurs in such finding, within such period. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, a boundary revision under this clause or clause (v) shall apply for purposes of any State implementation plan revision required to be submitted after November 15, 1990.
(v)
Whenever the Governor of a State has submitted a notice under clause (iv), the Governor, in consultation with State and local air pollution control agencies, shall undertake a study to evaluate whether the entire metropolitan statistical area or consolidated metropolitan statistical area should be included within the nonattainment area. Whenever a Governor finds and demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Administrator, and the Administrator concurs in such finding, that with respect to a portion of a metropolitan statistical area or consolidated metropolitan statistical area, sources in the portion do not contribute significantly to violation of the national ambient air quality standard, the Administrator shall approve the Governor’s request to exclude such portion from the nonattainment area. In making such finding, the Governor and the Administrator shall consider factors such as population density, traffic congestion, commercial development, industrial development, meteorological conditions, and pollution transport.
(B)
PM–10 designations
By operation of law, until redesignation by the Administrator pursuant to paragraph (3)—
(i)
each area identified in 52 Federal Register 29383 (Aug. 7, 1987) as a Group I area (except to the extent that such identification was modified by the Administrator before November 15, 1990) is designated nonattainment for PM–10;
(ii)
any area containing a site for which air quality monitoring data show a violation of the national ambient air quality standard for PM–10 before January 1, 1989 (as determined under part 50, appendix K of title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations) is hereby designated nonattainment for PM–10; and
(iii)
each area not described in clause (i) or (ii) is hereby designated unclassifiable for PM–10.
Any designation for particulate matter (measured in terms of total suspended particulates) that the Administrator promulgated pursuant to this subsection (as in effect immediately before November 15, 1990) shall remain in effect for purposes of implementing the maximum allowable increases in concentrations of particulate matter (measured in terms of total suspended particulates) pursuant to section 7473(b) of this title, until the Administrator determines that such designation is no longer necessary for that purpose.
(5)
Designations for lead

The Administrator may, in the Administrator’s discretion at any time the Administrator deems appropriate, require a State to designate areas (or portions thereof) with respect to the national ambient air quality standard for lead in effect as of November 15, 1990, in accordance with the procedures under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1), except that in applying subparagraph (B)(i) of paragraph (1) the phrase “2 years from the date of promulgation of the new or revised national ambient air quality standard” shall be replaced by the phrase “1 year from the date the Administrator notifies the State of the requirement to designate areas with respect to the standard for lead”.

(6)
Designations
(A)
Submission

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later than February 15, 2004, the Governor of each State shall submit designations referred to in paragraph (1) for the July 1997 PM2.5 national ambient air quality standards for each area within the State, based on air quality monitoring data collected in accordance with any applicable Federal reference methods for the relevant areas.

(B)
Promulgation

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later than December 31, 2004, the Administrator shall, consistent with paragraph (1), promulgate the designations referred to in subparagraph (A) for each area of each State for the July 1997 PM2.5 national ambient air quality standards.

(7)
Implementation plan for regional haze
(A)
In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later than 3 years after the date on which the Administrator promulgates the designations referred to in paragraph (6)(B) for a State, the State shall submit, for the entire State, the State implementation plan revisions to meet the requirements promulgated by the Administrator under section 7492(e)(1) of this title (referred to in this paragraph as “regional haze requirements”).

(B)
No preclusion of other provisions

Nothing in this paragraph precludes the implementation of the agreements and recommendations stemming from the Grand Canyon Visibility Transport Commission Report dated June 1996, including the submission of State implementation plan revisions by the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, or Wyoming by December 31, 2003, for implementation of regional haze requirements applicable to those States.

(e)
Redesignation of air quality control regions
(1)
Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2), the Governor of each State is authorized, with the approval of the Administrator, to redesignate from time to time the air quality control regions within such State for purposes of efficient and effective air quality management. Upon such redesignation, the list under subsection (d) shall be modified accordingly.
(2)
In the case of an air quality control region in a State, or part of such region, which the Administrator finds may significantly affect air pollution concentrations in another State, the Governor of the State in which such region, or part of a region, is located may redesignate from time to time the boundaries of so much of such air quality control region as is located within such State only with the approval of the Administrator and with the consent of all Governors of all States which the Administrator determines may be significantly affected.
(3)
No compliance date extension granted under section 7413(d)(5) 1
1
 See References in Text note below.
of this title (relating to coal conversion) shall cease to be effective by reason of the regional limitation provided in section 7413(d)(5) 1 of this title if the violation of such limitation is due solely to a redesignation of a region under this subsection.
(July 14, 1955, ch. 360, title I, § 107, as added Pub. L. 91–604, § 4(a), Dec. 31, 1970, 84 Stat. 1678; amended Pub. L. 95–95, title I, § 103, Aug. 7, 1977, 91 Stat. 687; Pub. L. 101–549, title I, § 101(a), Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2399; Pub. L. 108–199, div. G, title IV, § 425(a), Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 417.)
cite as: 42 USC 7407