As of January 29, 2009, the Chicago nonattainment area will be in attainment with the revoked 1-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).
Additionally, IEPA is in the process of finalizing an Attainment Demonstration and Maintenance Plan for the Chicago nonattainment area with respect to the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The draft Maintenance Plan concludes that existing state VOM RACT rules are adequate, with the exception of the need to update rules based on revised federal Control Techniques Guidelines (CTGs) for Flexographic, Rotogravure, Lithographic, and Letterpress Printing, Industrial Cleaning Solvents, and Flat Wood Paneling Coatings. The plan does acknowledge the need for NOx RACT rules, and indicates that the appropriate rulemaking is currently pending before the Illinois Pollution Control Board. The plan notes the rulemaking is also underway to reduce VOM emissions from several product categories, including aerosol coatings, architectural and industrial maintenance (AIM) coatings, and consumer solvents. No additional new requirements are proposed, and the plan states that sources in the area will be constructed or modified under Illinois' Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program.
Note that an attainment demonstration with the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS was submitted for the St. Louis area (Metro East) nonattainment area in June 2007.
Lastly, effective as of May 27, 2008, U.S. EPA lowered the 8-hour ozone standard to 0.075 μg/m3 from 0.08 μg/m3. IEPA must submit recommendations for nonattainment area boundaries for the revised standard by March 12, 2009. U.S. EPA then has up to two years (if insufficient information is available after one year) to finalize designations.
IEPA has prepared draft attainment designation recommendations for the revised ozone standard, and comments are being accepted until February 20, 2009. Additionally, a public hearing on the proposed Metro East designations is being held on January 22, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.
More information on the draft recommendations is available here.