National Ambient Air Quality Standards

News & Analysis as of

Forecast for Energy and Environment Regulations

President-Elect Donald Trump has promised to bring back jobs in the coal industry and reduce regulations that could inhibit economic growth. His transition team has already begun arriving at federal agencies to review the...more

Patience and Perseverance Paves the Way for Air-izona

John Quincy Adams is credited with saying: “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” This is certainly apropos for Arizona in light of recent federal actions...more

EPA Eliminates “But For” Causation From the Exceptional Events Rule: Tort Professors Everywhere Get Excited

On Monday, EPA promulgated amendments to its “Exceptional Events” Rule. The rule is important, particularly in the Western states, and most particularly in connection with EPA’s latest iteration of the ozone NAAQS. EPA’s...more

EPA Rule Encouraging for Industrial Development in Several Georgia Counties

On September 6, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule re-designating fourteen counties in Georgia from “non-attainment” to “unclassifiable/attainment” for particulate matter under the Clean Air Act....more

The Clean Air Act Creates a Nightmare for Yuma County

We have all heard, and likely even experienced its meaning on numerous occasions, the old adage of being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Finding oneself in this position is most unpleasant as it means there are no...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, July 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Launches Advisory Panels: On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched two advisory panels designed to facilitate small businesses to provide feedback to EPA...more

ADEQ Director Testifies before Congress in Opposition to EPA Ozone Standard

On Thursday, April 14th, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Director Misael Cabrera testified before Congress regarding naturally occurring ozone levels in parts of Arizona making it impossible to comply with...more

EPA Solicits Comments on Next Steps Toward Designating Regions Needing Stricter Controls of Sulfur Dioxide Air Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting comment by March 31, 2016, on its intention to designate previously uncharacterized areas of the country with particularly large sources of sulfur dioxide (SO2)...more

Something in the Air at the EPA: The McGuireWoods 2016 Clean Air Act (P)review

Even in this election year, the Obama administration is moving forward with its Clean Air Act (CAA) agenda. While the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final Clean Air Act 111(d) rule for cutting greenhouse gas...more

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

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