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Ground-level Ozone

Fact Sheet - Proposed Revision to 1997 8-Hour Ozone Implementation Phase 2 Rule to Address Vacatur and Remand of Reasonable Further Progress Credits

ACTION

  • On July 14, 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule to revise a provision of the Phase 2 Ozone Implementation Rule for the 1997 ozone air quality standard.  The provision allows 8-hour ozone nonattainment areas to take credit for emissions reductions outside the nonattainment area for purposes of the Reasonable Further Progress (RFP) requirement.
  • On November 2, 2007, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overruled a portion of the previous Phase 2 Ozone Implementation Rule and sent back to EPA the portion that allowed areas to take credit for emissions reductions outside the nonattainment area for RFP.  This portion allowed nonattainment areas to claim credit for emission reductions from selected outside sources without also adding emissions from other outside sources to the RFP baseline.
  • In response to this Court action, today EPA is proposing to revise the Phase 2 Rule to clarify the RFP section.
  • This proposed rule will affect any ozone nonattainment areas that have RFP credits.
  • This interpretation is analogous to the policy interpretation of the PM2.5 Implementation Rule for taking credit for emissions reductions outside the nonattainment area for purposes of RFP.
  • The Agency will accept comment for 30 days following publication in the Federal Register.  The proposal also provides opportunity for a public hearing if a commenter requests one.

BACKGROUND

  • Reasonable further progress is defined as specific annual reductions in emissions of VOC and NOx as necessary to attain the 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
  • On November 29, 2005, EPA published the Phase 2 final rule that allowed certain emission reductions from outside a nonattainment area to be credited toward the 8-hour ozone RFP requirement.   
  • The Phase 2 Rule was petitioned for reconsideration by the Natural Resources Defense Council shortly after being issued.  On November 2, 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overruled and sent back to EPA a portion of the Phase 2 Rule.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

  • Today’s proposed rule amendments and other background information are also available either electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, EPA’s electronic public docket and comment system, or in hardcopy at the EPA Docket Center’s Public Reading Room.
    • The Public Reading Room is located in the EPA Headquarters, Room Number 3334 in the EPA West Building, located at 1301 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC.  Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. eastern standard time, Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays.
    • Visitors are required to show photographic identification, pass through a metal detector, and sign the EPA visitor log.  All visitor materials will be processed through an X-ray machine as well.  Visitors will be provided a badge that must be visible at all times.
    • Materials for this action can be accessed using Docket ID EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0419.
  • Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0419, by one of the following methods:
    • http://www.regulations.gov.  Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. 
    • E-mail: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov
    • Fax:  202-566-9744   
    • Mail: Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Mail Code: 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20460.  Please include two copies.   
    • Hand Delivery: U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA West (Air Docket), 1301 Constitution Avenue, Northwest, Room 3334, Washington, DC.   Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. 
  • For further information concerning this action, contact Ms. Denise Gerth of EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards at (919) 541-5550 or gerth.denise@epa.gov

 

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