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Regulation Development

The Air Quality Program develops and proposes new and amended air quality regulations and plans for the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.

Sandia Mountain Hiking Trails

The Air Quality Program presents these proposals to the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency so they can consider adoption.

Under New Mexico law, air quality regulation in the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County is the responsibility of local government rather than the state. Thus, the Air Quality Program, administered by the City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department, and the Air Quality Control Board regulate air pollution in accordance with federal, state, and local rules and regulations. Air quality regulation for the rest of the state is the responsibility of the New Mexico Environment Department and the state Environmental Improvement Board

Air Quality Program and Air Board Partnership

The Air Quality Control Board is an is an appointed, seven-member volunteer citizen board created to carry out duties to prevent or abate air pollution under the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act and the federal Clean Air Act. The Air Board serves as a joint local authority acting on behalf of both the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.

The City of Albuquerque Environmental Health Department’s Air Quality Program serves as the local agency partner to the Air Board, and is authorized to administer and enforce the provisions of the state Air Quality Control Act and the federal Clean Air Act within the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.

Air Board meetings are open to the public and conducted in accordance with the Open Meetings Act. The public is encouraged to attend Air Board meetings, which are held on the second Wednesday of every month at 5:30 p.m.

Learn more about the Air Board and upcoming meetings.

Recent Rulemaking Petitions Before the Air Board

Advanced Clean Vehicles

On July 25, 2023, the Air Quality Program, in partnership with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), petitioned the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board to adopt the latest California vehicle standards beginning with model year 2027.  For more information related to this rulemaking, please visit the docket with links to the petition and exhibits. You can also visit the Clean Vehicles Regulation Documents page.

Health, Environmental and Equity Impacts

On November 21, 2022, the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, on behalf of the Mountain View Neighborhood Association, Mountain View Community Action, and Friends of Valle De Oro, filed a petition for rulemaking with the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board. Air quality laws allow “any person” to file a petition for rulemaking. A link to the docket is publicly available on the Air Board’s website and contains all of the formal filings in the matter, including the petition and proposed rule, 20.11.72 NMAC, Health, Environmental and Equity Impacts. Access the docket.

On December 14, 2022, the Air Board voted to hold a hearing on the proposed rule. The hearing dates have not been set but public notice of the hearing will be given at least 30 days before the hearing in accordance with NMAC.

Stakeholders may be accustomed to a pre-petition process that allows them to provide feedback on a draft rule before it is proposed to the Air Board and before the Air Board votes to hold a hearing. However, since the Environmental Health Department did not develop the proposed rule, and because the petition has already been filed and the Air Board has already voted to hold a hearing, the proposed rule did not go through the Department’s ordinary pre-petition public participation process and cannot go through that process now. Stakeholders should be aware that opportunities for public participation will therefore be limited to those that occur in the course of the formal rulemaking process. These include the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule and/or provide technical testimony during the hearing.

Public participation in the rulemaking process is welcome and encouraged. If you want to participate, here is how to stay informed and learn about opportunities to get involved:

For comments, questions or concerns for the Control Strategies Division of the Air Quality Program:

  • Contact the Air Quality Program Regulation Development Coordinator, Allen Smith, at [email protected].
  • Legal counsel may contact the Air Quality Program's attorney, Nathan Mulvihill, Assistant City Attorney, at [email protected].

Current Air Quality Program Regulation Development Activities

Regional Haze

The Air Quality Program is working with the New Mexico Environment Department on a plan to improve visibility at designated national parks and wilderness areas, as required by EPA's Regional Haze Rule. Learn more about the Air Quality Program's regional haze planning.


The Air Quality Program’s goal is to remain in attainment (compliance) with EPA's National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone. The Program's Ozone Reduction Initiative includes:

View public notices and comment opportunities on regulation development activities.

View news and updates on regulation development activities. 

Public Participation in Regulation Development

The Air Quality Program seeks public input on new and amended regulations and plans prior to formally proposing them to the Air Board.

Public participation is an integral part of regulation development. The type and extent of public involvement varies according to the type, complexity, and level of public concern of a proposed plan or regulation. The Air Quality Program involves the public by providing early, continuous, transparent, and effective access to information and decision-making processes. At all stages of the public participation process, the Air Quality Program will provide language translation and interpretation services as needed, as well as provide access to those with disabilities or special needs.

Public involvement efforts include, but are not limited to, notices and opportunities to comment, public listening sessions, and public meetings including Air Board meetings and hearings. Public involvement activities required under the State Air Quality Control Act (NMSA 1978 § 74-1-9), the Air Board's rulemaking procedures (20.11.82 NMAC), and the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR §§ 51.100 to 51.105) must be completed prior to the submittal of any proposed plan or regulation to the Air Board or the EPA. When the Air Quality Program has finalized a proposed plan or regulation, it will request the Air Board hold a public hearing or submit the proposal directly to the EPA, depending on the type of plan or regulation.

The Air Board process for considering new air quality regulations and plans is governed by the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act and by the Air Board's rulemaking procedures. These laws require that the public be notified and invited to participate in the Air Board's consideration of a proposed regulation or plan.

EPA regulations require an opportunity for public participation in Air Board hearings when the hearing pertains to regulations or plans that the EPA will review for possible inclusion in the federally enforceable State Implementation Plan.

Learn more about opportunities for public involvement in regulation development.

Applicable Laws, Regulations, and Ordinances

The Air Quality Program must develop regulations and plans in accordance with federal, state and local laws. Learn more about these laws and the regulatory framework created in accordance with them:



Catalina Lehner, Control Strategies Manager
[email protected]
(505) 764-1074

Allen Smith, Air Quality Regulation Development Coordinator
[email protected]
(505) 768-2637