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State Ozone Designation Recommendation

This page provides information about Texas recommendations to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on ozone nonattainment designations.

2008 Ozone Standard Update

On September 22, 2011, the EPA announced it would move forward with implementation of its 2008 ozone standard.

On October 31, 2011, the governor of Texas submitted a letter to the EPA Region 6 with the state's updated recommendation covering designations under the federal 2008 eight-hour ozone standard. The letter updates the governor's March 10, 2009 recommendations.

On December 9, 2011, the EPA Region 6 sent a letter to governors responding to the state designation recommendations. States are to respond to the EPA by February 29, 2012.

On December 20, 2011, the EPA published in the Federal Register the dates for a public comment period covering the EPA's December 9 responses to states.  Comments are due to the EPA by January 19, 2012.

On January 11, 2012, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) submitted written comments to the EPA in response to the EPA's December 20, 2011, Federal Register notice.

On February 10, 2012, the TCEQ submitted a recommendation to the governor that he ask the EPA to reverse its plan to expand the DFW and HGB ozone nonattainment areas pursuant to the EPA's 2008 eight-hour ozone standard because there is insufficient scientific justification for the EPA's proposed expansion of these two ozone nonattainment areas. The governor submitted the letter and technical analysis Exit the TCEQto the EPA on February 29, 2012.

On May 21, 2012, the EPA published in the Federal Register final designations for the 2008 eight-hour ozone standard (77 FR 30088) Exit the TCEQ. The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area was designated moderate nonattainment and the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) area was designated marginal nonattainment. The effective date of the final rule is July 20, 2012.

On May 21, 2012, the EPA also published in the Federal Register a final rule to establish classification thresholds, establish December 31 of each relevant calendar year as the attainment date for each classification, and revoke the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for purposes of transportation conformity (77 FR 30160Exit the TCEQ.

2010 Proposed Ozone Standards Update

On September 2, 2011, the administration announced it would withdraw its proposed 2010 ozone standards.

2010 Proposed Ozone Standards

On January 6, 2010, the EPA proposed a primary eight-hour ozone air quality standard within the range of 0.060 to 0.070 parts per million (ppm) and a separate seasonal secondary standard within the range of 7 to 15 ppm-hours using a cumulative peak-weighted index. The primary standard protects people while the secondary standard protects welfare such as sensitive ecosystems and forests. The EPA's proposal, published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2010, was a reconsideration of the 2008 eight-hour standard of 0.075 ppm.

The TCEQ provided written comments on March 22, 2010.

The TCEQ's Air Quality Division hosted informational public meetings in June and July of 2010 on the EPA's proposed 2010 ozone air quality standards, providing the public an opportunity to obtain information and offer their comments on potential ozone nonattainment area boundaries and designations.

2008 Ozone Standard

The 2008 ozone standard was published in the Federal Register on March 27, 2008. An EPA March 2000 memo provided guidance on recommending ozone-area boundaries that are larger or smaller than the Metropolitan Statistical Area, followed by a December 2008 memo. The 2008 standard revised the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard, which was published in the Federal Register on July 18, 1997. Information about the EPA's ozone standards can be viewed at this link. Information from the EPA about eight-hour ozone nonattainment areas can be viewed at this link.

On January 6, 2010, the EPA announced that it would extend by one year the deadline for promulgating initial area designations for the 2008 ozone standard (75 Federal Register 2936 ). The new deadline is March 12, 2011. If the EPA promulgates the proposed 2010 ozone standards, any requirements to designate areas and implement the 2008 ozone standard would no longer apply.

On March 10, 2009, the governor submitted a letter to the EPA Region 6 with the state's recommendation covering designations under the federal 2008 eight-hour ozone standard.

Earlier, on December 10, 2008, the commission  approved a nonattainment area designation recommendation. The state's recommendation was due to EPA by March 12, 2009. The commission's recommendation was sent to the governor for consideration.

The TCEQ's Air Quality Division hosted public meetings in July 2008, providing the public an opportunity to obtain information and offer their comments on potential ozone nonattainment boundaries and designations. The division invited written comments to be submitted by September 5, 2008. Copies of the public comments received and a copy of the presentation presented at the meetings are available at the following links:

Monitoring Data

Please visit the Current Ozone Levels Web page to find the current highest ozone levels in each of the metropolitan areas across Texas where ozone is measured by the TCEQ.