National Ambient Air Quality Standards

News & Analysis as of

New Ozone Standard: Better Than it Could Have Been, But Creates Uncertainty for Industry

EPA has issued a final rule tightening the primary ozone national ambient air quality standard (“NAAQS”) down to 70 ppb from the 75 ppb limit established in 2008. The new NAAQS takes effect on December 28, 2015 (despite the...more

EPA Issues New Regulation Governing Air Quality Standards for Ozone

New Standards Could be Costly for California’s Public Agencies - The United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule earlier this month strengthening the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for...more

EPA Releases Revised Ozone NAAQS

On October 1, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a prepublication version of a final rule establishing a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. The final rule lowers the primary and secondary...more

EPA Finalizes Tougher Ozone Standards

On October 1, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rule lowering the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb nationwide (2015 Ozone...more

EPA Decreases Limit for Ground-Level Ozone

In an updated rule released October 1, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set tighter limits on ozone – a compound regarded as a precursor to smog. In setting the new standard at 70 parts per billion (ppb) for...more

EPA Tightens Ozone Standard…Again

On October 1, 2015, EPA announced that the new National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone would be 70 ppb, a 6.7% reduction of the current 75 ppb standard. On November 25, 2014, EPA had proposed to...more

EPA Lowers the Ozone Standard to 70 PPB: Industry Isn’t Happy, But It Should Be

On October 1, 2015, EPA finally released its final rule revising the ozone NAAQS to 70 ppb. I do not spend much time peering into a crystal ball, but I will go out on a limb and say that the industry challenges to the rule...more

EPA’s Clean Power Plan: A Regional Analysis

EPA’s recently issued Clean Power Plan (“CPP” or “Plan”) affects every state differently. The Plan has a decidedly nationwide impact—reducing the United States’ power plant greenhouse gas emissions 32 percent by the year...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan and 2014 Annual Effluent Guidelines Review Report EPA is announcing the availability of its Final 2014 Effluent Guidelines...more

EPA Hits Oil and Gas Industry With a Flurry of Proposed Methane Regulations

EPA took major steps on August 18, 2015 to curtail methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by simultaneously releasing four new proposed rules. These actions are part of the Obama Administration’s larger climate...more

The D.C. Circuit Sends EPA Back to the Drawing Board to Fix Its Transport Rule Emissions Budgets

The Clean Air Act’s good neighbor provision prohibits upwind states from emitting air pollutants in amounts that will “contribute significantly to nonattainment” of a national ambient air quality standard in a downwind state....more

Environmental Notes - June 2015

In this Issue: - EPA Issues SIP Call to Eliminate SSM Defense - EPA and Corps Define “Waters of The United States” - Frequent Questions: EPCRA 313 - Generators Need to be Vigilant About TCLP Sampling...more

EPA Proposes to Redesignate Charlotte Area to Attainment for Ozone Standard

On May 21, 2015, EPA proposed to approve the State of North Carolina’s request to redesignate its portion of the bi-state, Charlotte-Rock Hill 8-hour ozone nonattainment area (the “Area”), to attainment for the 2008 8-hour...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Release of Risk and Exposure Assessment for the Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Nitrogen Dioxide. EPA is currently reviewing the primary...more

EPA’s Final Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (“SSM”) Rule: The Emperor’s New Clothes, Part II

The Final EPA Rule under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) emissions standards for the Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (“SSM”) Rule is out. EPA issued the Final Rule on May 22, 2015 and it’s even worse than when proposed. I...more

Half a Loaf May Not Be Too Bad: The 9th Circuit Affirms Most of EPA’s Approval of the San Joaquin Valley SIP

Earlier this week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals granted part of a petition challenging EPA’s approval of California’s SIP for ozone and PM 2.5 in the San Joaquin Valley.  While the trade press has been focusing on the...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen – Health Criteria - EPA has announced an extension of the public comment period for the second external review draft of a document titled, “Second External Draft...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire Nothing to report STATUS OF PREVIOUSLY REPORTED RULES COMPLIANCE DEADLINES For more information, see our mobile-friendly ENViromation Center, an online...more

EPA and Sierra Club Reach Partial Settlement in Ozone SIP Litigation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Sierra Club have entered into a proposed consent decree that would partially resolve a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club against the agency. Notice of the proposed...more

Ninth Circuit to Consider Civil Rights Issue in Review of California SIP

On February 12, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in El Comite Para El Bienestar De Earlimart v. EPA, a case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of provisions in a...more

Year in Preview: 2015 Heralds Big Changes Under the Clean Air Act

Not only has a new interstate pollution and allowance trading regime kicked in (effective Jan. 1), but the agency has announced that it will publish final carbon standards this summer for new and existing power plants and...more

Can You Feel New Regulations in the Air? EPA Announces Steps That It Will Take to Reduce Methane and VOC Emissions from Oil and...

In recent years, the proliferation of oil and gas production, transmission, and distribution activities in the United States has led to a number of regulatory initiatives by state and federal agencies designed to manage new...more

EPA Proposes Eliminating State Regulations as to Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction Emissions

Operating conditions during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (SSM) are not normal and often result in unrepresentative emissions that exceed permitted limitations. Originally published in The Natural Gas &...more

Transportation Conformity Form Over Substance

A few determined environmental advocates have attempted for years to use the Clean Air Act’s strict transportation conformity rules to tie up planned highway improvements. For the most part, courts have rebuffed those...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead, 40 C.F.R. Part 50 EPA is proposing to retain the current national ambient air quality standards for lead without revision....more

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