Skip to Content
Questions or Comments:

El Paso: Current Attainment Status

Compliance of El Paso County with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

Note: This table is intended to provide a listing of designations and classifications for current, active NAAQS. While NAAQS which have been revoked by the EPA do not appear in this table, some anti-backsliding obligations may continue to apply for revoked standards. This table is to be used for informational purposes only and should not be used to determine regulatory requirements in any of the counties listed.

El Paso Area: Attainment Status by Pollutant


 Primary NAAQS

Averaging Period



Attainment Deadline


Ozone (O3)*

0.070 ppm (2015 standard) 



El Paso 


0.075 ppm
(2008 standard)


Unclassifiable/ Attainment

El Paso


Lead (Pb)

0.15 µg/m3
(2008 standard)

Rolling 3-Month Average

Unclassifiable/ Attainment



Carbon Monoxide (CO)

9 ppm


Attainment (Maintenance)

Portion of City of El Paso


35 ppm


Unclassifiable/ Attainment



Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

0.053 ppm


Unclassifiable/ Attainment



100 ppb


Unclassifiable/ Attainment



Particulate Matter (PM10)

150 µg/m3


Moderate Nonattainment

City of El Paso

December 31, 1994

Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

12.0 µg/m3(2012 standard)

Annual (Arithmetic Mean)

Unclassifiable/ Attainment



15.0 µg/m3(1997 standard)

Annual (Arithmetic Mean)

Unclassifiable/ Attainment



35 µg/m3


Unclassifiable/ Attainment



Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

0.03 ppm**

Annual (Arithmetic Mean)

Unclassifiable/ Attainment



0.14 ppm**


Unclassifiable/ Attainment



75 ppb


Attainment/ Unclassifiable



*The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revoked the one-hour ozone standard and the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard in all areas, although some areas have continuing obligations under these standards. See ozone history for more information.

**The standard is scheduled to be revoked one year after the effective date of final designations for the 75 ppb standard.

 For more information on attainment status, visit the EPA's Green Book webpage regarding nonattainment areas for criteria pollutants.

El Paso Attainment and Nonattainment Areas

2015 Eight-Hour Ozone Standard Designation:  Marginal Nonattainment, effective December 30, 2021 ( 86 FR 67864 )
In August 2018, the City of Sunland Park, New Mexico and environmental petitioners challenged the EPA’s attainment/unclassifiable designation for El Paso County. On July 10, 2020, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion to remand (without vacatur) the El Paso County attainment designation to the EPA and require the EPA to issue a revised El Paso County designation for the 2015 eight-hour ozone NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable. On December 21, 2020, the TCEQ submitted supplemental information to the EPA in support of retaining El Paso County’s original attainment designation. The EPA sent a  application/pdf120-day letter to Texas on May 25, 2021 notifying the governor that the EPA intends to modify the designation for El Paso County to nonattainment as part of the existing Doña Ana partial-county (Sunland Park) ozone nonattainment area. On July 26, 2021, the TCEQ submitted a  application/pdfresponse requesting that the EPA not modify El Paso County’s existing attainment/unclassifiable designation consistent with all the information submitted by the state. On November 30, 2021, the EPA published a final nonattainment designation for the 2015 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for El Paso County, effective December 30, 2021. The EPA expanded the Sunland Park marginal nonattainment area to include all of El Paso County and renamed the area as the “El Paso-Las Cruces, Texas-New Mexico nonattainment area."

On June 30, 2023, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the nonattainment designation for El Paso County, finding that the EPA's action was impermissibly retroactive.

Remanded 2015 Eight-Hour Ozone Standard Designation: Attainment/Unclassifiable, effective August 3, 2018 ( 83 FR 25776 )
On October 1, 2015, the EPA lowered the primary and secondary eight-hour ozone NAAQS to 0.070 parts per million ( 80 FR 65292 ). El Paso County was designated attainment/unclassifiable under the 2015 eight-hour ozone NAAQS, effective August 3, 2018.

2008 Eight-Hour Ozone Standard Designation: Unclassifiable/Attainment, effective July 20, 2012 ( 77 FR 30088
On March 27, 2008, the EPA lowered the primary and secondary eight-hour ozone NAAQS to 0.075 parts per million ( 73 FR 16436 ). El Paso County was designated unclassifiable/attainment under the 2008 eight-hour ozone NAAQS, effective July 20, 2012.

1997 Eight-Hour Ozone Standard Designation: Attainment, April 30, 2004 ( 69 FR 23858
The EPA’s Phase I Implementation Rule for the eight-hour ozone standard directs that areas such as El Paso that were designated nonattainment for the previous one-hour ozone standard but attainment for the eight-hour ozone standard must submit a maintenance plan for eight-hour ozone. The El Paso maintenance plan was approved by the EPA on January 15, 2009 ( 74 FR 2387 ).

Eight-Hour Carbon Monoxide Standard Designation: Attainment, August 4, 2008 ( 73 FR 45162
The El Paso CO nonattainment area was restricted to a narrow strip of the city along the Rio Grande, in El Paso County, adjacent to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. On February 13, 2008, the state submitted a revision to the SIP containing an eight-hour CO maintenance plan to provide for El Paso continued attainment of the eight-hour CO NAAQS until 2020. The redesignation request and maintenance plan were approved by the EPA on August 4, 2008.

PM10 Standard Designation: Moderate Nonattainment, November 6, 1991 ( 56 FR 56694 )
The City of El Paso was designated nonattainment for PM10 and classified as a moderate area upon enactment of the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. On November 15, 1991, Texas submitted to the EPA the SIP revision for the El Paso moderate nonattainment area, to demonstrate that the area would attain the PM10 NAAQS no later than December 31, 1994. Modeling of U.S. emissions indicated that the nonattainment area would have been in attainment in 1991, and at the 1994 deadline, if not for emissions transported from outside the United States. Based on §179B of the Federal Clean Air Act, which provides that an area does not have to meet the moderate nonattainment deadline if the state demonstrates attainment if not for emissions from another country, there was no requirement for a reasonable further progress demonstration. The EPA approved the El Paso PM10 SIP revision, effective February 17, 1994 (59 FR 02535 ).

National Ambient Air Quality Standards

The EPA has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards  (NAAQS) for six principal criteria pollutants: ground-level ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter.

No later than one year after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS for any pollutant, the governor must submit designation recommendations to the EPA for all areas of the state. The EPA must then promulgate the designations within two years of promulgation of the revised NAAQS. Areas that do not meet (or contribute to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet) the NAAQS are designated nonattainment. Areas that meet the NAAQS are designated attainment; and areas that cannot be classified based on the available information, unclassifiable.

For ozone, the federal Clean Air Act establishes nonattainment area classifications ranked according to the severity of the area’s air pollution problem. These classifications—marginal, moderate, serious, severe, and extreme—translate to varying requirements with which Texas and nonattainment areas must comply.