Ozone Control Strategies
The Air Quality Planning Unit's primary goal is to protect your right to breathe clean air. Guided by the Clean Air Act, we work collaboratively with states, communities, and businesses to develop and implement strategies to reduce air pollution from a variety of sources that contribute to the ground-level ozone or smog problem. Automobiles, trucks, buses, factories, power plants, consumer products and paints when used emit volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which react in the atmosphere on hot summer days to create smog. Ground level ozone, or smog, can reduce lung capacity, cause acute respiratory problems, and aggravate asthma.
The Clean Air Act requires each state containing an ozone nonattainment area to develop a written plan for cleaning the air in that area. This plan, called the State Implementation Plan (SIP), details the steps the state is going to take to improve air quality and meet applicable air quality standards. We help the states develop strategies and enact regulations to include in the SIP. Strategies currently being implemented include:
- Vapor recovery nozzles at the gasoline pumps to reduce refueling emissions;
- Cleaner burning gasoline reformulated to reduce VOC, NOx and other pollutants;
- Strict NOx emission limits for power plants and industrial combustion sources;
- Enhanced vehicle inspection programs in states; and
- Strict limitations on the solvent usage in factories.
The states are required to submit the State Implementation Plan to EPA for approval. We at EPA then review the plan and approve it if it satisfactorily shows that attainment with the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard will be achieved as required by the Clean Air Act.
Click below for more details on ozone control strategies.
- Stage II Gasoline Vapor Recovery
- VOC stationary source control regulations
- NOx stationary source control regulations
- Mobile Source strategies
Ozone Attainment Demonstrations
States not meeting EPA's ozone standard are required to submit plans that demonstrate how they will achieve attainment of the standard.
Areas that were designated moderate nonattainment (see map) for the 1997 0.08 parts per million (ppm) 8-hour ozone standard were required to submit ozone attainment demonstrations to EPA by June 15, 2007. Links to the attainment demonstrations submitted by the New England state are provided below. EPA is currently reviewing these submittals.
- Connecticut ozone attainment demonstration Exit submitted on February 1, 2008.
- EPA proposed Disapproval of the Connecticut ozone demonstration
- Massachusetts ozone attainment demonstration Exit submitted on January 31, 2008.
- Rhode Island ozone attainment demonstration submitted on April 30, 2008.
- New Hampshire's clean air determination suspended the requirement for that area to submit an ozone attainment demonstration.
In addition, EPA is required to review air quality standards every five years. On March 12, 2008, EPA issued revisions to the ozone standard. The new standard was set at 0.075 ppm, averaged over 8-hours. EPA has proposed designated areas for this standard as nonattainment. For more information about the 2008 ozone standard designations click here.
Previously, states submitted, and EPA approved, ozone attainment demonstrations for the former one-hour ozone air quality standard. EPA's actions on these submittals are available as PDF files below:
- Final approval for the Springfield (Western Massachusetts) serious ozone nonattainment area.
- Final approval for the Greater Connecticut serious ozone nonattainment area.
- Final approval for the Connecticut portion of the NY-NJ-CT severe ozone nonattainment area.
- Final Approval for Eastern Massachusetts Area
- Final Approval for Southern New Hampshire Area
- Final approval for the Rhode Island serious ozone nonattainment area