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EPA Issues Final Ozone Nonattainment Area Designations

On April 30, 2012, EPA issued the final nonattainment area designations for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).  In 2008, EPA set the NAAQS for ozone at 75 ppb (8-hour average).  Of the 45 nonattainment areas, only 3 are new.  The remaining areas are part of existing nonattainment areas for the 1997 ozone NAAQS.  In the Southeast, nonattainment areas include:

  • Georgia:  Atlanta (Marginal):  Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale.
  • Mississippi:  Memphis, TN-MS-AR (Marginal):  Desoto (partial)
  • North Carolina: Charlotte-Rock Hill, NC-SC (Marginal):  Cabarrus (partial), Gaston (partial), Iredell (partial), Lincoln (partial), Mecklenburg, Rowan (partial), Union (partial).
  • South Carolina:  Charlotte-Rock Hill, NC-SC (Marginal):  York (partial).
  • Kentucky:  Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN (Marginal):  Boone (partial), Campbell (partial), Kenton (partial).
  • Tennessee:  Knoxville (Marginal):  Blount, Anderson (partial), Knox; Memphis, TN-MS-AR (Marginal): Shelby.

In addition to the final area designations, EPA issued a final rule for implementation of the 2008 ozone NAAQS.  Provisions of the rule include setting air quality thresholds for each of the five CAA nonattainment classifications (marginal, moderate, serious, severe, and extreme), as well as attainment dates for each classification.  For example, the attainment date for marginal areas is December 31, 2015.

A subsequent EPA rulemaking is expected to address anti-backsliding provisions, State Implementation Plan (SIP) deadlines, and control measures.

List of Nonattainment Areas:  http://www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations/2008standards/final/finaldes.htm

Map of Nonattainment Areas:  http://www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations/2008standards/final/finalmap.htm

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