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Houston-Galveston-Brazoria: Current Attainment Status

Compliance of Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) area counties with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

HGB Area: Attainment Status by Pollutant

 

Pollutant

 

Primary NAAQS

 

Averaging Period

 

Designation

 

Counties

 

Attainment Deadline

Ozone (O3)*

0.075 ppm (2008 standard)

8-hour

Marginal Nonattainment

Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Waller

December 31, 2015

0.08 ppm (1997 standard)

8-hour

Severe Nonattainment

Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, Waller

June 15, 2019

Lead (Pb)

0.15 µg/m3
(2008 standard)

Rolling 3-Month Average

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

1.5 µg/m3
(1978 standard)

Quarterly Average

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

9 ppm

8-hour

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

35 ppm

1-hour

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

0.053 ppm

Annual

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

100 ppb

1-hour

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

Particulate Matter (PM10)

150 µg/m3

24-hour

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

12.0 µg/m3(2012 standard)

Annual (Arithmetic Mean)

Pending

 

 

15.0 µg/m3(1997 standard)

Annual (Arithmetic Mean)

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

35 µg/m3

24-hour

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)

0.03 ppm**

Annual (Arithmetic Mean)

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

0.14 ppm**

24-hour

Attainment/ Unclassifiable

 

 

75 ppb

1-hour

Governor's Recommendation: Attainment

Galveston, Harris

 

*The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revoked the one-hour ozone standard in all areas, although some areas have continuing obligations under the standard. See ozone history for more information.

**Standard will be revoked one year after the effective date of final designations for the 75 ppb standard.

HGB Nonattainment Areas

2008 Eight-Hour Ozone Standard Designations: Marginal Nonattainment, effective July 20, 2012 (77 FR 30088 ) Exit the TCEQ
On March 27, 2008, the EPA lowered the primary and secondary eight-hour ozone NAAQS to 0.075 parts per million (ppm) (73 FR 16436)Exit the TCEQ. An eight-county HGB area including Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller Counties was designated nonattainment and classified marginal under the 2008 eight-hour ozone NAAQS, effective July 20, 2012. The HGB area includes the same eight counties that were designated nonattainment under the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard. The attainment deadline for the HGB marginal nonattainment area is December 31, 2015.

1997 Eight-Hour Ozone Standard Designation: Severe Nonattainment, October 1, 2008 (73 FR 56983)Exit the TCEQ
Former 1997 Eight-Hour Ozone Standard Designation: Moderate Nonattainment, April 30, 2004 (69 FR 23858)Exit the TCEQ
An eight-county HGB area was designated nonattainment under the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS, and classified as a moderate nonattainment area on April 30, 2004. Counties affected under this designation are Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller. The EPA granted the governor’s request to voluntarily reclassify the HGB ozone nonattainment area from a moderate to a severe nonattainment area for the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard, effective October 31, 2008. The HGB area’s new attainment deadline for the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard is as expeditiously as practicable but no later than June 15, 2019.

National Ambient Air Quality Standards

The EPA sets National Ambient Air Quality Standards Exit the TCEQ(NAAQS) for six principal criteria pollutants: ground-level ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter. 

No later than one year after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS for any pollutant, the governor must submit designation recommendations to the EPA for all areas of the state. The EPA must then promulgate the designations within two years of promulgation of the revised NAAQS. Areas that do not meet (or contribute to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet) the NAAQS are designated nonattainment. Areas that meet the NAAQS are designated attainment; and areas that cannot be classified based on the available information, unclassifiable.

For ozone, the Federal Clean Air Act establishes nonattainment area classifications ranked according to the severity of the area’s air pollution problem. These classifications—marginal, moderate, serious, severe, and extreme—translate to varying requirements with which Texas and nonattainment areas must comply.