State & Regional Issues
Legislation & Rules
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone, Federal Register
January 19, 2010 – Proposed Rule
Would reduce the 8-hour primary standard, which protects public health, to a
level between 0.070 and 0.060 parts per million (ppm), down from the 2008
standard of 0.075 ppm. The rule also proposes a separate cumulative “secondary”
standard to protect the environment, especially plants and trees. This seasonal
standard would be set within a range of 7-15 ppm-hours.
The proposed rule
would require industry to revamp their existing emission control budgets and
plans, or draw up new ones. Areas that will likely be most affected by this
rule include the East, Midwest, and around the Gulf and West coasts. Initial
non-attainment designations for would be assigned in 2011. States will then have
two years to develop State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for these areas.
Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Ozone, Federal Register March 27, 2008
Reduces the 8-hour primary and secondary standards for ozone to 0.075 parts
per million (ppm), down from the 1997 standard of 0.08 ppm. Initial non-attainment
designations will be assigned in 2010. States will then have three years to
develop State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for these areas. Some states will
have until as late as 2030 to comply. The new ozone standards are projected to
result in the designation of 345 additional counties as non-attainment. EPA
estimates that the cost of implementing this rule will exceed $8 billion
Terminals located in
non-attainment communities may expect increasingly stringent emissions limits.
Click here for a map indicating the counties
that are likely in violation of the new standard of 0.75 ppm. In addition to
the map, EPA has provided a
list of the counties with designations of attainment or
non-attainment to the 2008 standard based on 2004-2006 NAAQS data.
proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on
July 11, 2007. It included alternative considerations for levels as low as
0.060 ppm for the primary standard. It also examined a different option for the
secondary standard, which would have involved limiting cumulative daily ozone
concentrations across a three-month period to range between 7-21 ppm-hours.
Clean Air Act of 1990,
Title I, Air Pollution Prevention & Control, Part A: Air Quality and Emissions
Section 108, Air Quality Criteria
and Control Technology
Section 109, National Ambient Air Quality Standards This act
requires identification of toxic air pollutants (§108) that pose a health threat
in the urban areas. It also mandates that EPA set primary and secondary
standards (§109) for those pollutants.
Updates, Comments & Other Reports
On December 14, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a
rule revising the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for pollution from fine
particle matter of 2.5 micrometers (µm) in diameter or smaller (PM2.5).
The rule lowers the PM2.5 primary standard from 15 micrograms per
cubic meter (µg/m3), down to 12 µg/m3.
On December 14, six
United States Senators sent a
letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson opposing the new
standard. The senators argue that increasing the number of non-attainment areas
is unnecessary and harmful to the domestic economy and that businesses are far
less likely to invest in a non-attainment area than in other regions.
opposing this new rule issued talking points on the rule,
and a summary of its impacts,
February 2012 EPA has issued a
rule to implement the 2008 NAAQS for ozone. EPA’s proposed
non-attainment designations would apply to approximately 210 whole counties and
31 partial counties. EPA will classify nonattainment areas and set
compliance deadlines based on the air quality ranges as marginal, moderate,
serious, severe, and extreme. Based on air monitoring data, EPA has
indicated that many of the nonattainment areas are expected to be classified as
marginal, which means they would be expected to meet the standard within three
years. Federal pollution control measures may already be in place for many
areas, however some may need to implement additional controls for nitrogen
oxides and volatile organic compounds. Final designations for the 2008
ozone standards will be issued by May 31, 2012. A listing of all
nonattainment areas and their classifications will be made available at that
time. For more information,
President Barack Obama has ordered EPA to remove its decision to revise the
2008 NAAQS for ozone during 2011. According to the Heritage Foundation,
the rule would likely have resulted in the loss of 7.3 million jobs and cost
nearly $700 billion by 2020. Additionally, 565 U.S. counties would have
been pushed into nonattainment status, resulting in further economic loss.
Going forward, EPA will begin implementation of the 2008 NAAQS which set an
8-hour threshold for ozone of 75 parts per billion. In a recent
to state officials, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stated that the agency will
expedite a rulemaking on the 2008 implementation requirements.
Additionally, she indicated that EPA plans to issue initial area designation
letters to states by January 2012. EPA estimates that it will identify
approximately 52 nonattainment areas where the air quality fails to meet the
2008 standard. Final area designations are expected by mid 2012.
failed to promulgate a final rule to replace the 2008 NAAQS for ground-level
ozone. In September, 2009, EPA revoked the 8-hour standard of 0.075 parts per
million (ppm) and stated that it would promulgate a new standard by August
2010. After missing the August deadline, EPA said that it would issue a final
rule “on or about the end of October.” EPA has not yet indicated when it
expects to have the rule finalized.
On January 10, EPA proposed revisions to the NAAQS for ozone. Specifically, EPA
is proposing to revise the level of the primary 8-hour ozone standard to a level
within the range of .060-0.070 parts per million (ppm). EPA is also proposing
to establish a separate cumulative secondary standard within a range of 7-15 ppm-hours.
EPA will accept comments for 60 days following publication of the proposal in
the Federal Register. EPA will hold three public hearings on the
Arlington, VA and Houston, TX
On March 12, 2008, EPA Administrator Stephen L.
Johnson signed the most aggressive 8-hour standard ever for ozone. The new
primary 8-hour standard is 0.075 parts per million and the new secondary
standard is set at a form and level identical to the primary standard. The
previous primary and secondary standard was set at 0.08. A
and fact sheet
were issued with the rule.
Days before Administrator
Johnson announced the new standards, the Office of Management & Business, after
reviewing the draft final rule, issued a
memo to EPA stating that
they failed to justify the need for setting a secondary standard lower than the
primary standard. EPA responded with a
letter stating that
“by definition, the primary and secondary standards are separate legal
actions based on separate criteria.” Ultimately, EPA was not able to set a
secondary standard that was lower than the primary standard.
ILTA recently participated in a conference call with U.S. Senator David Vitter
(R-LA) to support his opposition to EPA’s proposed amendment that would reduce
current 8-hour ozone levels under NAAQS. Senator Vitter indicated that EPA
suggested that it may lower the standard from the current level of 0.079 parts
per million (ppm) to 0.070 ppm. A new standard of 0.070 would likely result in
700 counties across the U.S. being added to the 391 counties already in
non-attainment status. The deadline for EPA to finalize any changes to the
existing standard is March 12, 2008.
proposed amendments to the NAAQS for ozone have been opposed by numerous
companies, trade associations, state agencies, governors, congressmen and other
public officials alike. An index of filed comments that oppose a change in
allowable ozone levels under the NAAQS may be viewed
Eleven State Governors submitted a
EPA asking them to retain the existing standard on December 11. States
represented include: Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri,
Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Texas.
ILTA, in partnership with 23 other associations including the American Chemistry
Council, American Petroleum Institute and the National Petrochemical Refiners
comments demonstrating that
the existing standard meets the statutory requirements and should be retained as
both the primary and secondary standard. Also, the comments provided scientific
evidence invalidating EPA’s conclusions that further reductions in the ozone
standard would translate to improved health.
If the primary standard is set within the 0.07- 0.075 range, the total number of
nonattainment areas would increase 2.5 times from 442 to 1, 087, and an
additional 30% to 1,234 if EPA sets the ozone standard at 0.06 ppm.
Nonattainment area maps clearly
illustrate potentially affected areas. EPA has provided a
for more information on the proposed rule.
presentation presents, in summary
form, much of the subtext to the EPA data from which the proposed rule was
EPA is soliciting comments
from industry on the proposed rulemaking. Comments are due on October 9, 2007.
Related ILTA Articles
ILTA provides a monthly
newsletter to its membership. Members may log in to the Member Resources page to
access archived newsletters. The following is a list of articles ILTA has
published in its newsletter relating to ozone standards.
EPA Withdraws Proposal for
More Stringent Ozone Standards, October 2011 Issue (p.3)
Opposition Grows as ESP Seeks
to Impose More Stringent Ozone Standards, September 2011 Issue (p.3)
Delays Issuance of New Ozone Standards,
- EPA Tightens the
Nation's Ozone Standards, April 2008 Issue (p.2)
Ozone Standards May Triple the Number of Nonattainment Areas,
September 2007 Issue (p.2)