8-Hour Ozone Designation Process


The Clean Air Act requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. EPA recently reviewed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone and proposed to strengthen them to a more protective level. The new ozone standard is an 8-hour average concentration of 75 parts per billion. Based on this revised standard, all states must evaluate areas for compliance with the ozone standard. The outcome of the designation process will be a recommended list of counties in the state that currently monitor or are contributing to 8-hour ozone violations.

Ozone Basics

Ozone at ground-level is a primary pollutant of concern in Kansas. Air pollutant levels measured against the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), shows that areas across the state are currently attaining this new standard. If an area monitors or contributes to violations of the ozone standard, actions must be taken to help prevent the emissions that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone; learn more about ground-level ozone on the Criteria Pollutants page.

Similar to the weather in Kansas, the quality of the air can change from day to day. In order to help citizens understand the quality of the air on a day to day basis, the KDHE provides near real-time monitoring data from the Kansas Air Quality Monitoring Network.

  1. Designation Process
  2. Stakeholder Involvement
  3. Helpful Documents
  4. Timeline

The Ozone Designation Process

The process for designating nonattainment area boundaries allows the department to make a recommendation to EPA, but only EPA has the authority to make the final decision. View the Guide to 8-Hour Ozone Designation Process (PDF).

The bureau is evaluating areas of the state that are monitoring violations of the ozone standard and/or are contributing to violations. In previous ozone designations, the bureau was asked to consider multiple factors as they developed their designation recommendations. For more information see the previous Boundary Guidance on Air Quality Designations provided by EPA.

It is important to note that ozone air quality data obtained from monitoring is only one factor used in determining which counties will be part of a nonattainment area under the new standard. The following is a list of the 11 criteria used in the designation process:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Ozone Designation Criteria

  • Emissions and Air Quality in Adjacent Areas
  • Enforceable Regional Emission Reductions Strategies
  • Extent, Pattern, and Rate of Growth for an Area
  • Jurisdictional Boundaries
  • Level of Control of Emission Sources
  • Location and Size of Emission Sources
  • Mountains or Other Air Basin Boundaries
  • Ozone Monitoring Data
  • Population Density and Commercial Development in Adjacent Areas
  • Traffic and Commuting Patterns
  • Weather and Transport Patterns