According to EPA, an “attainment” designation means that an area is meeting or exceeding the standard of a particular pollutant. A “nonattainment” designation means that the area is not meeting the standard. The “unclassifiable/attainment” designation means that an area is “meeting the standard or expected to be meeting the standard despite a lack of monitoring data.”
In 2012, EPA issued
designations for the 2008 ground level ozone standard. With the exception
of the Rock Hill (portion of York County), SC/Charlotte, NC, area, EPA
designated the remaining of South Carolina as an “unclassifiable/attainment”
area. In April 2015, SCDHEC requested EPA to re-designate the
Rock Hill (York County portion) area as an attainment area. EPA approved
the request in October 2015 and York County (partial) is currently in “Marginal
- Maintenance” classification status. On EPA
announced that it had strengthened the ground level ozone standard from 75 ppb
(or 0.075 ppm) to 70 ppb (or 0.070 ppm). It
is expected that Greenville County will be in attainment with respect to the
2015 ozone standard. EPA will finalize designations for the 2015 ozone standard
in October 2017.
In December 2012, EPA strengthened the annual health PM2.5 standard to 12 mg/m3 and retained the 24-hour fine particle standard of 35 μg/m3. EPA has indicated that most of the country (including Greenville County) already meets the annual PM2.5 standard of 12 μg/m3. EPA also projects that 99% of U.S. counties with monitors would meet the annual fine particle health standard in 2020.For a more complete overview of air quality in Greenville County click on the following report: State of Air Quality: October 2016.