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    EPA Proposes Reclassifying 7 Areas to Serious in 2019

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Proposes Reclassifying Seven Areas in 2019 to “Serious” for the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

    On November 14th, 2018 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced changes in attainment status for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).  The agency is proposing to determine that seven areas failed to attain the standards by the attainment date:

    • Chicago-Naperville, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin
    • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
    • Greater Connecticut, Connecticut
    • Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Texas
    • Nevada County (Western part), California
    • New York-North New Jersey-Long Island, Connecticut-New York New Jersey
    • San Diego County, California.

     The effect of failing to attain by the attainment date is that such areas will be reclassified by operation of law to ‘‘Serious’’ upon the effective date of the final reclassification notice.  Consequently, the responsible state air agencies must submit State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions required to satisfy the statutory and regulatory requirements for Serious areas for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.   When an area is reclassified as “Serious” ozone nonattainment, any future projects that occur on or after the effective date of the reclassification will be required to use a nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) major source threshold of 50 tons per year (tpy) of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) or Volatile Organic Matter (VOM).  In addition, the applicability threshold for a Title V (i.e., Clean Air Act Permit Program, CAAPP) Operating Permit will be 50 tpy NOx or VOM. The major source thresholds for NOx or VOM under both of these programs has been 100 tpy.  

    The EPA is proposing deadlines for submittal of those SIP revisions and implementation of the related control requirements. This proposed action is necessary to fulfill the EPA’s statutory obligation to determine whether ozone nonattainment areas attained the NAAQS by the attainment date, and, within 6 months of the attainment date, publish a notice in the Federal Register identifying each area that is determined as having failed to attain and identifying the reclassification.  

    Detailed information can be found in the Federal Register here:  Link to EPA Federal Register https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-11-14/pdf/2018-24816.pdf


    Please contact Catalytic Products International (CPI) for assistance in evaluating the air pollution control options for complying with the significant changes in the affected areas.


    Additional resources on EPA Ozone standards:

    EPA Air Quality Designations for Ozone  https://www.epa.gov/ozone-designations

    Nonattainment Areas for Criteria Pollutants (Green Book)  https://www.epa.gov/green-book

    Topics: Environmental and Regulatory, News, Blog

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