Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Ground-level Ozone

Reducing Ground Level Ozone

Tips for Reducing Ground-Level Ozone
  • Choose a cleaner commute - car pool, use public transportation, bike or walk when possible.
  • Combine errands to reduce "cold starts" of your car and avoid extended idling.
  • Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
  • Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste.

More information…

EPA’s national and regional rules to reduce emissions of pollutants that form ground level ozone will help state and local governments meet the Agency’s national air quality standards. Some of these rules and programs are listed below.

Power Plants and Industries

Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (2011) - In addition to reducing mercury and other toxic air pollutants from power plants, these standards will reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and fine particles, which will lower airborne soot levels throughout the U.S.

EPA’s 2005 Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) will dramatically reduce ground level ozone in the east by permanently capping emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Clean Air Visibility Rule (2005) - These final amendments to EPA’s 1999 Regional Haze Rule require emission controls for industrial facilities emitting air pollutants that reduce visibility.

The Regional Transport Rule (1998) reduces regional emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in 22 states and the District of Columbia, and in turn, reduces the regional transport of ozone.

EPA’s Acid Rain Program uses a combination of traditional requirements and a market-based cap and trade program to reduce power plant emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), which contribute to ground level formation.

EPA’s NOx SIP Call reduces the regional transport of ground level ozone pollution in the East.

Mobile Sources

Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards (2014) - These vehicle standards reduce both tailpipe and evaporative emissions from passenger cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles, and some heavy-duty vehicles.

The 2004 Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule set emission standards for the engines used in most construction, agricultural, and industrial equipment, and reduces the amount of sulfur allowed in the fuel they use.

The 2007 Clean Diesel Trucks and Buses Rule, issued in December 2000, will put the cleanest running heavy-duty trucks and buses in history on America’s roads, building a fleet that will be 95 percent cleaner than today’s trucks and buses.

Tier 2 Vehicle Emission Standards and Gasoline Sulfur Program treats all passenger vehicles and the fuels they use as a system, setting tailpipe emissions standards for all passenger vehicle beginning with the 2004 model year, and requiring reduced levels of sulfur in gasoline.

Emissions standards for highway motorcycles along with standards for engines that power forklifts, electric generators, recreational boat engines, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles and offroad motorbikes.

EPA has announced its intent to propose more stringent standards, modeled after the Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Engines Program, for locomotives and for all new commercial, recreational, and auxiliary marine diesel engines except the very large engines used for propulsion on deep-sea vessels.

Voluntary Programs

A number of EPA voluntary programs also play an important role in reducing ground level ozone formation. These programs include:

Ozone Advance - a collaborative effort between EPA, states, tribes, and local governments that encourages expeditious emission reductions in ozone attainment areas to help these areas continue to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. 

National Clean Diesel Campaign - The voluntary aspects of this campaign reduce ground level ozone pollution through programs such as the Voluntary Diesel Retrofit Program, the Smartway Transport Partnership and Clean School Buses USA.


Jump to main content.