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Dallas-Fort Worth: Lead History

Background and history of Dallas-Fort Worth area compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for lead.

2008 Lead Standard (2008 to Present)

On October 15, 2008, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) substantially strengthened the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for lead, lowering it tenfold, from 1.5 µg/m³ (measured over two years on a quarterly average) to 0.15 µg/m³ (measured over three years on a rolling three-month average). The lead NAAQS final rule was published in the Federal Register on November 12, 2008 and went into effect on January 12, 2009 ( 73 FR 66964 ).

The highest monitored rolling three-month average concentration of lead in ambient air in Collin County from 2006 through 2008 was 0.23 µg/m³, at the lead monitor located on Ash Street in Frisco. The governor recommended to the EPA that a portion of Collin County near the Exide Technologies (Exide) plant in Frisco be designated as nonattainment of the 2008 lead NAAQS.

In the November 22, 2010 Federal Register, the EPA published the determination that an area in Collin County, Texas surrounding the Exide battery recycling plant was not meeting the 2008 NAAQS for lead (75 FR 71033 ). The area must comply with the new lead standard by the December 31, 2015 deadline.

On August 8, 2012, the commission adopted the Collin County Attainment Demonstration State Implementation Plan (SIP) Revision for the 2008 Lead NAAQS and the Agreed Order between Exide and the TCEQ. The SIP revision contains a reasonably available control measure and a reasonably available control technology analysis, demonstration of attainment through air dispersion modeling, a control strategy demonstration, an emissions inventory, a demonstration of reasonable further progress, and contingency measures. The Agreed Order makes the control strategies and contingency measures included in the Collin County Attainment Demonstration SIP Revision legally enforceable. The SIP revision, Agreed Order, and all supporting documents are posted on the Dallas-Fort Worth: Lead - Latest Planning Activities webpage.

On June 4, 2012, the City of Frisco and Exide approved an agreement that resulted in the sale of approximately 180 acres of undeveloped land surrounding Exide's plant. Under the terms of the agreement, the land around Exide's plant was sold to the Frisco Community Development Corporation and the Frisco Economic Development Corporation. The agreement stipulates that Exide will retain ownership of the federal and state permitted plant site. As part of the agreement, Exide would cease business operations.

Based on a requirement in the agreed order between the TCEQ and Exide, a letter from Exide to the executive director was received dated October 9, 2012 stating that Exide had elected to permanently shut down operations at its Frisco Battery Recycling Center. Effective November 1, 2012, Exide began curtailing operations and all recycling ceased on November 30, 2012. The facility is now permanently shut down.

Between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015, the Collin County nonattainment area did not have a three-month rolling average above the lead NAAQS at any of the TCEQ’s ambient lead monitors. Therefore, the area achieved compliance of the 2008 lead NAAQS as of December 31, 2015.

On October 19, 2016, the commission adopted the Collin County Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan SIP Revision for the 2008 Lead NAAQS (Non-Rule Project No. 2016-003-SIP-NR). This SIP revision requested that the EPA redesignate the Collin County lead nonattainment area to attainment for the 2008 lead standard and provided a maintenance plan to ensure the area remains in attainment of the NAAQS through 2028. On June 29, 2017, the EPA published in the Federal Register a direct final rule to approve the redesignation request and maintenance plan as well as the 2012 attainment demonstration ( 82 FR 29426 ). The redesignation of the Collin County lead nonattainment area to attainment became effective on September 27, 2017.

1978 Lead Standard (1978 to Present)

In 1978, the EPA promulgated a NAAQS for lead of 1.5 µg/m³. The Texas SIP revision for the control of lead air pollution, adopted March 21, 1980, created a statewide monitoring plan that required ambient air quality monitors near lead point sources that could exceed the lead standard in areas of public exposure. Gould National Battery, Inc. (now Exide Technologies), a battery-recycling plant in Frisco, Collin County, was one such source requiring monitoring, and ambient air monitors were installed in the vicinity in 1981.

The 1990 federal Clean Air Act (FCAA) Amendments authorized the EPA to designate areas failing to meet the NAAQS for lead. A portion of Collin County, which essentially encompassed the boundaries of the Gould National Battery plant, was designated nonattainment for the lead NAAQS, effective January 6, 1992, and was required to demonstrate attainment by January 6, 1997.

A SIP revision was adopted by the TCEQ on June 18, 1993 with controls and contingency measures focused on fugitive dust emissions enforced via agreed orders with the facility and permit provisions. The EPA approved the Collin County lead attainment demonstration SIP submission on November 29, 1994.

The EPA redesignated the Collin County nonattainment area to attainment of the 1978 lead NAAQS, effective December 13, 1999, and approved the TCEQ 10-year maintenance plan required by Section 175A of the FCAA ( 64 FR 55421 ). On August 26, 2009, the TCEQ adopted a second 10-year maintenance plan (also required by Section 175A) and an agreed order with Exide to make contingency measures in the plan legally enforceable, and submitted them to the EPA for review. As part of the EPA's June 29, 2017 Federal Register notice, the EPA approved the second 10-year maintenance plan ( 82 FR 29426 ).

Comprehensive History of the Texas SIP

This SIP History gives a broad overview of the SIP revisions that have been submitted to the EPA by the State of Texas. Some sections may be obsolete or superseded by new revisions, but have been retained for the sake of historical completeness.