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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is implementing the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone that were issued in 2015.

Ground-level ozone is a gas that is formed by the reaction of volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. On October 1, 2015, the U.S EPA adopted a new more stringent 8-hour ozone standard that is set at 0.070 parts per million (or 70 part per billion). The final rule for the 2015 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) was published October 26, 2015.

On November 16, 2017, U.S. EPA established initial air quality designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. The U.S. EPA finalized attainment/unclassifiable designations for Texas without including nonattainment designations or a designation for the San Antonio area.

On June 4, 2018, the U.S. EPA published final designations for all remaining areas of Texas except the 8 counties comprising the San Antonio area. The U.S. EPA finalized nonattainment designations for the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area (Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Tarrant, and Wise Counties) and the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) area (Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, and Montgomery Counties). The U.S. EPA classified both nonattainment areas as marginal.

Designations for the San Antonio area are expected to be finalized by July 17, 2018. Previously, on March 19, 2018, the U.S. EPA sent a letter to Texas proposing to designate Atascosa, Bandera, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina, and Wilson Counties as attainment/unclassifiable. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has indicated that U.S. EPA is proposing to modify Texas' recommendation of attainment for Bexar County and intends to designate all or portions of Bexar County as unclassifiable.

For assistance with your air permitting needs, contact the Trinity office nearest you by calling 800-229-6655 for more information.