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UPDATE: San Antonio's Ozone Future

Tessa Powell

In keeping with its deadline, the EPA recently announced its final decision regarding the NAAQS ground-level ozone designation for the San Antonio metro area, particularly Bexar County.  

As of July 17, 2018, Bexar County has been designated as “nonattainment” for the 2015 ozone standards and the surrounding seven counties in the metro area are designated as “attainment/unclassifiable.” The designations will take effect 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. Bexar County’s level of nonattainment classification is “marginal,” meaning less time and effort is required to achieve compliance with the air standard than the other nonattainment classifications. Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler indicated the EPA is confident the county already is on its way to compliance and can achieve attainment standards “well in advance of the attainment date in 2021.” (EPA, EPA Finalizes Last 2015 Ozone Designations for 8 Counties in Texas, (July 18, 2018), https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-finalizes-last-2015-ozone-designations-8-counties-texas) Until revisions for the San Antonio area in Texas' State Implementation Plan (SIP) are finalized, it is too soon to enumerate specific requirements, but the SIP will have to comply with guidelines set forth by the EPA for each level of nonattainment. More information on SIPs can be found here: Required SIP Elements by Nonattainment Classification.  

The EPA published a thorough Response to Significant Comments document detailing responses to the comments it received prior to the finalized decision, as well as a fact sheet summarizing the basic actions, requirements and background surrounding the decision.  

EPA has developed a number of tools to minimize disruption for nonattainment areas and facilitate demonstrations that these areas meet the standard by the attainment dates. For more information, follow this link to the EPA press release: EPA Finalizes Last 2015 Ozone Designations for 8 Counties in Texas

 

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August 03, 2018 @ 11:57 AM EDT Energy - Oil and Gas, Government - Federal, Government - State/Provincial Environment

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