The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has affirmed the proposal by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to maintain the same ozone nonattainment area for the 2015 ozone standard as for the 2008 ozone standard.
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. Based on preliminary monitoring data, DEQ recommended that the nonattainment area in Virginia for the 2015 ozone standard be the same as the 2008 ozone standard, and that the area be designated marginal nonattainment.
The cities and counties affected are as follows:
- Counties: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William
- Cities: Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park.
EPA has considered the DEQ recommendations, and published a preliminary response on December 20, 2017. EPA intends to designate the areas that Virginia recommended as nonattainment and to designate all other areas in the Commonwealth as attainment/unclassifiable. The public comment period on this action will be open until February 28, 2018. After considering any additional information, EPA plans to promulgate final ozone designations in spring of 2018. More information can be found in EPA's public docket, EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0548.
Please contact Trinity's Roanoke, Virginia office at (540) 342-5945 for further information about potential impacts on existing facilities in potential nonattainment areas.