On November 6, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced which counties in the United States currently meet the more stringent 2015 ozone standards, but failed to announce counties which do not meet the new standards. An estimated 15% of all counties in the U.S. do not meet the new ozone standards; however, without a formal designation by the EPA, states cannot begin to amend their state implementation plans (“SIPs”) for those counties to bring them into compliance with the 2015 standards.
Depending upon the severity of the nonattainment, the designation could lead to new pollution control requirements for cars and large industrial facilities such as power plants located in the affected areas. To date, the EPA has not indicated when it will officially designate areas that exceed federal ozone pollution standards and has stated that it doesn’t have a timeline for completing the designations.
For more information, please contact Phillip Hoover.