EPA Approves State of Texas’ Clean-Air Plan for Ozone in Dallas-Fort Worth Area
Action clarifies area’s status under revoked 1979 and 1997 standards
DALLAS – (April 2, 2020) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved the state of Texas’ clean-air plan for the greater Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area under the Clean Air Act’s 1979 1-hour and 1997 8-hour ozone standards. EPA determined the nine-county area in North Texas continues to comply with both of these older standards and meets the criteria for ending obligations to prevent the area from “backsliding” in air quality and potentially failing to meet the old standards. The state’s clean-air plans for ozone in the DFW area will now directly address the Clean Air Act’s newer, more stringent 2008 and 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
“The Dallas-Fort Worth area has seen some of the largest population growth in the country over the past several years, and ozone levels continue to improve,” said Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “EPA appreciates the work of local governments in North Texas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to get these environmental results.”
Because EPA revoked the 1979 and 1997 standards in 2004 and 2015, respectively, the agency could not pursue the typical process of redesignating the area from nonattainment to attainment of the ozone NAAQS. As an alternative, EPA determined the DFW area met the Clean Air Act’s criteria for redesignation and was therefore eligible to end anti-backsliding measures under the revoked standards. This action effectively removes the state’s obligations for the DFW area under these older standards, while the updated and more stringent 2008 and 2015 8-hour ozone standards remaining applicable. EPA’s action covers nine counties in North Texas: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant
The DFW area attained the 1-hour ozone NAAQS at the end of 2006 and attained the 1997 ozone NAAQS at the end of 2014. In March 2019, the state of Texas submitted to EPA its revised clean-air plan showing how it would maintain these two standards. EPA’s final approval was preceded by a proposed approval and 30-day public comment period. The final approval will be published in the Federal Register.
For more information on NAAQS: https://www.epa.gov/naaqs
For more information on ozone pollution: https://www.epa.gov/ground-level-ozone-pollution
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About EPA Region 6: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central
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