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 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.
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
The Department is hosting a series of public meetings across the state to discuss the designation process for the revised ozone standard. County officials, local government representatives and economic development staff are encouraged to attend. A version of the following invitation letter was sent to various county representatives. Also, see the excel database for a list of who was invited:
County-specific information pertaining to economic, employment and population growth will be gathered to assist the department in making more-informed decisions about which counties will be recommended for an ozone nonattainment designation. To submit information for your area, please send an email to Doug Watson.
Guides & Technical Documents
Kansas City Meeting November 6, 2008
Kansas City Meeting August 12, 2008
Kansas City Meeting June 12, 2008
Wichita Meeting September 4, 2008
Timeline for Final Ozone Designations
|EPA issues final ozone standard||March 2008|
|States submit recommendations for areas to be designated attainment and nonattainment||March 2009|
|EPA will make final designations of attainment and nonattainment areas. Those designations would become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register||March 2010|
|State Implementation Plans, outlining how states will reduce pollution to meet the standards, will be due to EPA (three years after designations)||2013|
|States will be required to meet the standard, with deadlines depending on the severity of the problem||2013 to 2030|