Sept. 21 — Various cities in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic U.S., including the New York metropolitan area, potentially won’t meet the 2015 ozone standards of 70 parts per billion, based on preliminary data from the summer of 2016.
The Environmental Protection Agency won’t formally designate areas that fail to attain the 2015 ozone standards until Oct. 1, 2017. However, Jeff Underhill of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, offered a preview of potential nonattainment areas during a presentation shared at a Sept. 20 meeting of the Ozone Transport Commission.
Compliance with the ozone standards is based on a three-year average of the fourth highest eight-hour concentration measured each year. During his presentation, Underhill identified areas within the 13-state Ozone Transport Region that will potentially qualify as nonattainment areas based on data from 2014 and 2015, combined with preliminary air quality data from the summer of 2016.
The potential areas that won’t meet the 70 ppb ozone standards include Pittsburgh and an area that stretches along the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., up into Rhode Island, including the cities of Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, according to Underhill’s presentation.
The New York metropolitan area, which has a three-year average above 80 ppb when preliminary 2016 data are included, is “in play” for a moderate nonattainment designation, Underhill said. Moderate nonattainment areas are given longer to meet national ambient air quality standards than marginal areas, which have less severe pollution issues but are subject to more extensive planning requirements.
If New York is designated a moderate nonattainment area, the state would have until October 2020 to submit a pollution control plan to bring the area into compliance by 2023.
Data from the summer of 2016 aren’t yet certified. Underhill said the preliminary air quality data show that 2016 “has been an interesting year” in the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.
While the summer of 2016 has been hotter than normal, likely driving electrical demand higher, the number of days with ozone concentrations exceeding the 70 ppb ozone standards actually declined in the region compared to 2015. There have been a total of 57 days in the Ozone Transport Region that saw an exceedance of the 70 ppb ozone standards during 2016, compared to 63 in 2015, according to Underhill’s presentation.
The preliminary 2016 results continue a “nice, downward trend” in the number of exceedance days within the region over the past 20 years, Underhill said. However, he cautioned that data from 2016 will replace data from 2013, a relatively low ozone year in the Northeast, for the purposes of determining compliance with federal ozone standards. In 2013, there were just 39 exceedance days in the region.
The three-year ozone averages, known as design values, could rise again after the 2017 ozone season ends in the Ozone Transport Region, according to Underhill. That’s because 2014 was another relatively low ozone year that will fall out of the three-year period used to calculate those design values, Underhill said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Ambrosio in Washington at PAmbrosio@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at email@example.com
Underhill’s presentation is available at http://src.bna.com/iMi.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)