Ground-level Ozone Standards Designations
May 31, 2012 - EPA completes area designations for the Chicago metropolitan area. More information.
April 30, 2012 - EPA issues final area designations for the 2008 ozone standards and finalizes approach to nonattainment area classifications and attainment area deadlines.
Overview Q and A.
January 31, 2012 - Based on updated ozone air quality data submitted by the state of Illinois, EPA revises its responses to recommendations from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin on area designations for the 2008 ozone air quality standards.
This web site provides information on the process EPA, the states, and the tribes follow to designate areas as "attainment" (meeting) or "nonattainment" (not meeting) the ground-level ozone standards established in 1997 and in 2008.
Breathing air containing ozone can reduce lung function and increase respiratory symptoms, thereby aggravating asthma or other respiratory conditions. Ozone exposure also has been associated with increased susceptibility to respiratory infections, medication use by asthmatics, doctor visits, and emergency department visits and hospital admissions for individuals with respiratory disease. Ozone exposure may contribute to premature death, especially in people with heart and lung disease. High ozone levels can also harm sensitive vegetation and forested ecosystems.
EPA will work with the states and tribes to share the responsibility of reducing ozone air pollution. Current and upcoming federal standards and safeguards, including pollution reduction rules for power plants, vehicles and fuels, will assure steady progress to reduce smog-forming pollution and will protect public health in communities across the country.
EPA strengthened the air quality standards for ground-level ozone in 2008. Learn more about the 2008 standards.
Area designations for the 1997 ground-level ozone standards became effective in 2004. Learn more about the area designations for the 1997 ground-level ozone standards.
This web site contains the following information:
Area Designations for the 2008 Ground-level Ozone Standards: The status of this effort is summarized here.
Area Designations for the 1997 Ground-level Ozone Standards: EPA issued these designations on April 15, 2004. They are summarized here.
Air Quality Forecast: Two-day air quality forecasts, including ozone, for dozens of cities. (Some include web cam shots of real-time conditions)
Basic Information: Background on ozone attainment issues and EPA actions to address ozone emission concerns.
Frequent Questions: Answers to common questions regarding ozone and the designations process.
Glossary: Explanations of the technical terms and acronyms used throughout the site.
Policy Guidance: Provides access to policy and guidance documents on ground-level ozone designations.