Proposed Ozone NAAQS Withdrawn
Posted: September 18th, 2011Author: All4 Staff
At the request of President Obama, U.S. EPA has withdrawn the draft ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The current 8-hour ozone NAAQS is 75 parts per billion (ppb). U.S. EPA had been close to finalizing a revised ozone NAAQS at a level between 60 and 70 ppb prior to withdrawing the draft proposal. In the withdrawal request, the President cited concerns about the regulatory burden on industry and about the timeline for the next ozone NAAQS reconsideration, which is scheduled to begin in 2013. The withdrawal is the second time in the past several months that a proposed NAAQS level has remained unchanged. U.S. EPA proposed earlier in the year to maintain the current NAAQS levels for carbon monoxide (CO). The withdrawal of the draft ozone NAAQS eliminates for now the possibility of new ozone nonattainment areas that would have resulted in more stringent nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emission limits and increased difficulty permitting new projects in those areas. Implementation for the other recently promulgated 1-hour nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) NAAQS continues and will, barring any unforeseen events, be the most likely to impact new projects in the near term.