Nonattainment Areas

Definition - What does Nonattainment Areas mean?

Nonattainment Areas means that the quality of air in those particular regions does not attain or meet the federal quality standards of air. The area which is classified as a Nonattainment Area and does not remove the pollution or make the air clean it is likely to receive cuts in the federal transportation funding when the new highway projects add to the problem of air pollution. The areas with different pollutants can share common boundaries or overlap each other. If the area receives a status of Nonattainment, it can limit the capabilities of production of the existing industries and restrict the introduction of new industries that can offer job opportunities.

Petropedia explains Nonattainment Areas

A geographical area is considered as a Nonattainment Area, if it does not meet the levels of clean air set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The areas which are classified as attainment or Nonattainment Areas are referred to as the maintenance areas. The maintenance areas which are declared as Nonattainment Areas can be re-designated to attainment areas by EPA with a maintenance plan. These areas are required to implement or to have a plan that can meet the standards. An area can be declared as Nonattainment for one pollutant and attainment for other pollutants.

Designating or declaring an area as Nonattainment is the formal rule making process which is an action normally taken by EPA. The action is taken only after the standard of air quality have exceeded for various consecutive years. These areas are given this classification depending upon the type of standard of air quality and severity of violation they exceed.

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