On December 17, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published revisions to the primary and secondary national ambient air quality standards for ozone. Currently, the primary and secondary standards are 0.075 parts per million (ppm). The proposed revisions would tighten both standards to between 0.065 and 0.070 ppm, while retaining the current averaging time of eight hours, and the current form of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum averaged over three years. EPA is also soliciting comment on standards as low as 0.060 ppm and proposing to extend the length of the ozone monitoring season for several states, including extending Florida’s ozone monitoring season by four months.
Currently, three Florida counties have ozone measurements exceeding the proposed 0.070 ppm standard: Hillsborough, Sarasota, and Orange. An additional eight Florida counties have ozone measurements exceeding the proposed 0.065 ppm standard: Manatee, Pinellas, Polk, Osceola, Seminole, Bay, Escambia, and Santa Rosa.
Comments on EPA’s proposal are due by March 17, 2015, and pursuant to a federal district court order, EPA must finalize the revised ozone standards by October 1, 2015.
For additional information, contact Andrew Holway.