October 1, 2015, the EPA changed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb). The updated standards are designed to protect the health of children, the elderly, those with lung diseases such as asthma, and outdoor workers or those who take part in outdoor activities. The new measures also will improve the health of trees, plants and ecosystems that may be affected by ground-level ozone and other pollutants. The EPA is making corresponding revisions to the Air Quality Index (AQI) by setting an AQI value of 100 equal to an 8-hour-average O3 measurement of 70 ppb, the same as the revised primary O3 standard. Compliance with the new standards will be based on the 2014-2016 monitoring cycle, and designations for “Non-Attainment” areas will be made in October 2017.
You can view the EPA’s proposed rule for implementation of the 2015 ozone NAAQS which includes options for the revocation of the 2008 ozone NAAQS. 2016-27333
On November 6, 2017, the EPA issued final designations for the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone for most areas in the U.S. All seven counties in the CTCOG region are designated as “attainment/unclassifiable”. The final designations will take effect 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. For remaining areas, the EPA is not prepared to issue designations and will address these areas in a separate future action. More information can be found on the EPA website.
How is Air Quality Measured?
Compliance is determined by the following method:
- Ozone readings are taken every hour
- Daily Value calculation = Highest 8-hour average for that day
- Annual Value calculation = 4th highest daily value for the year
- Design Value calculation = 3 year average of annual values
A design value is a statistic that describes the air quality status of a given location relative to the level of the NAAQS for ozone. In other words, the design value should be at or below 70 ppb in order for an area to remain in attainment.
Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP)
The TCEQ’s TERP program is comprised of nine different programs. Each program involves financial incentives to eligible individuals, businesses, or local governments to reduce emissions from polluting vehicles and equipment.
Bell and Milam counties are eligible for the following: