News Flash

Air Quality

Posted on: June 20, 2019

REVISED: EPA proposes Maricopa County air quality attained the 2008 ozone health standard

Downtown Phx News Release

PHOENIX (June 20, 2019) - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing the Phoenix-Mesa ozone nonattainment area met the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). This is the initial step under Clean Air Act requirements in redesignating the area to attainment of the standard. 

Maricopa County Air Quality Department will continue current practices including conducting inspections and issuing permits. All existing rules and regulations will still apply.

“EPA’s determination that the area has attained the 2008 standard is a major milestone in the efforts to accomplishing clean air,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisor Chairman (District 3), Bill Gates said. “Community participation has been so important in helping to make Maricopa County a healthier place to live, work and play. This is a sign that Maricopa County and the Air Quality Department are moving in the right direction, but we still must remain vigilant in our efforts.”

The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to establish national standards for pollutants that cause or contribute to air pollution that is expected to affect public health, such as ozone. The EPA designated nonattainment areas of the 2008 ozone standard in the summer of 2012. At that time, Phoenix-Mesa was classified as nonattainment. Determination of an area’s attainment status of the NAAQS is based on three consecutive calendar years of data collected by state and local air monitoring stations. Certified data collected for review of this proposal were collected from 2015-2017.

While Maricopa County is making progressive strides to cleaner air, in 2015 the EPA lowered the ozone health standard from 75 to 70 parts per billion (ppb). Because of this, the county is also in nonattainment of the more recent, stricter 2015 ozone standard.

To view the Federal Register posting, please visit: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-06-13/pdf/2019-12517.pdf.

For information and tips on what you can do to help reduce ground level ozone, please visit CleanAirMakeMore.com.

For more information, contact Communications Supervisor Bob Huhn, 602-506-6713.

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About Maricopa County Air Quality Department

The mission of the Maricopa County Air Quality Department is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents and visitors can live, work and play in a healthy environment. The department is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act.

The department offers air quality information and resources on its Clean Air Make More website. Visit CleanAirMakeMore.com to learn more.

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