EPA Proposes Implementing Regulations for 2015 Ozone Air Quality Standard

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On November 17, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule to implement the strengthened 2015 ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The measure would retain the majority of the implementation regulations for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, with certain revisions or additional requirements. For example, EPA would base nonattainment classification thresholds on the percentage-above-the-standard approach applied for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and would require the same modeling and attainment demonstrations. States with nonattainment areas would have the same timeframes to submit SIP revisions, and the same deadlines would apply to reach attainment.

Among proposed changes and new measures, EPA proposed two alternatives for revoking the 2008 standard and transitioning to the 2015 standard, one of which would require anti-backsliding measures. In addition, EPA proposed compliance milestone demonstration options for air agencies to show reasonable further progress. EPA would also add new deadlines for RACT SIP revision submissions and implementation following reclassification and control technique guideline revisions.

Comments on the proposed rule are due by January 17, 2017.

For additional information, contact Jon Harris Maurer.