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Upcoming Ozone Plans

8-hour ozone standard

The San Joaquin Valley air basin (Valley) is designated as an extreme ozone nonattainment area for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2008 8-hour ozone standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb). The plan to address this standard is expected to be due to EPA in 2016. Addressing the 2008 8-hour ozone standard will pose a tremendous challenge for the Valley, given the naturally high background ozone levels and ozone transport into the Valley.

The District will hold a series of public workshops throughout the development of this upcoming attainment plan. To receive email notifications related to ozone plan workshops and postings, sign up for the Ozone Plans email list. The public is welcomed to provide comments throughout the development of this plan to airqualityplans@valleyair.org.

Public Workshops

Additional public workshops will be scheduled for future dates.

May 2014: The District hosted a public workshop on May 23, 2014 to present and receive comments on the development of the upcoming plan for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard.

What is ozone?

Ground level ozone impacts public health. Ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of heat and sunlight. The Valley experiences its highest ozone levels in the summer. EPA has established ozone standards based on 1-hour averaging periods, and for 8-hour averaging periods.

More information is available on EPA’s website.

1-hour Ozone Attainment Request

For the first time in recorded history, in 2013, the Valley had zero violations of the 1-hour ozone standard established by EPA under the federal Clean Air Act. The Valley now meets the 1-hour ozone standard based on the most recent three year period air monitoring data (2011-2013).

On May 6, 2014, the District submitted a formal request that the U.S. EPA determine that the Valley has attained the federal 1-hour ozone standard. Per federal requirements, the District’s submittal includes a clean data finding and a finding that attainment is due to permanent and enforceable emissions reductions.

As part of the clean data finding, the District requested EPA concurrence that an exceedance at Fresno-Drummond on August 10, 2012 was due to an exceptional event. Alternatively, the District also provided compelling evidence that the Valley would attain the 1-hour ozone standard but for the influence of international air pollutant transport, allowing nonattainment penalties to be lifted under CAA 179B.

The submittal to EPA included the following:

Adopted Ozone Plans

  • 2014 RACT SIP
    The District adopted the RACT Demonstration for Ozone SIP in June 2014.

  • 2013 Plan for the Revoked 1-Hour Ozone Standard
    The District adopted the 2013 Plan for the Revoked 1-Hour Ozone Standard in September 2013.

  • 2009 RACT SIP
    The District adopted the RACT Demonstration for Ozone SIP in April 2009.

  • 2007 Ozone Plan
    The District adopted the 2007 Ozone Plan in April 2007. This plan addresses EPA’s 8-hour ozone standard of 84 parts per billion (ppb), which was established by EPA in 1997.

  • 2004 Extreme Ozone Attainment Demonstration Plan
    The District adopted this plan in October 2004 to address EPA’s 1-hour ozone standard. However, since EPA revoked this standard in 2005, EPA did not act on this plan until 2010, when a court decision required EPA action. EPA’s 2010 action approved the plan, but subsequent litigation led to a court finding that EPA had not properly considered new information available since the District adopted the plan in 2004. EPA thus withdrew its plan approval in November 2012, and the District and ARB withdrew this plan from consideration. While the 2004 plan is not a federally-approved plan, it is included here for reference.