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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 17-675


Revised Designation Recommendations for the 2015 Ozone Standards

[47 Pa.B. 2387]
[Saturday, April 22, 2017]

 On October 1, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated revised primary and secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, which were published at 80 FR 65292 (October 26, 2015). The revised primary ozone NAAQS of 70 parts per billion (ppb) will provide increased protection of public health when compared to the 2008 primary NAAQS of 75 ppb. In accordance with section 107(d)(1) of the Federal Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C.A. § 7407(d)(1)), the governor of each state was required to submit designation recommendations to the EPA within 1 year of the promulgation of the revised NAAQS.

 The Commonwealth, through the Department of Environmental Protection (Department), submitted its designation recommendations to the EPA on October 3, 2016. The Commonwealth's designation recommendations for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS were based on air quality monitoring data for the ozone season of 2013 through 2015, demographic information and other criteria, as recommended by the EPA in its February 25, 2016, memorandum pertaining to ''Area Designations for the 2015 Revised Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards.''

 The Department submitted newly certified air quality monitoring data for 2016 to the EPA on February 28, 2017. Based on the newer air quality monitoring data, the Department recommended to the EPA that Indiana County and the seven-county Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area, which includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties, be designated as attainment areas, rather than nonattainment areas, because they are now measuring attainment of the 2015 ozone NAAQS.

 The other two areas recommended in 2016 to be designated as nonattainment areas still monitor nonattainment of the 2015 ozone NAAQS. For this reason, the Department did not request a change for them. Those areas are:

 • Lebanon County

 • The Philadelphia area, which consist of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties and is part of a multistate nonattainment area.

 In addition, while the Department did not recommend a change for Berks County, air quality monitoring data indicates a violation of the 2015 ozone standard. However, due to a forest fire event, the Department is preparing ''exceptional events'' analyses for Berks and Lebanon Counties, both of which will be submitted to the EPA shortly. If the EPA approves the exceptional events analyses, certain monitoring data will be invalidated and then Berks and Lebanon Counties will meet the 2015 ozone NAAQS and may be designated as attainment.

 The Department made no additional changes to its recommendations. The Department's original and revised recommendations and supporting documentation can be viewed at

 The Department is not requesting comment on this submittal to the EPA, but if any person has a question they may contact the Department at (717) 787-9495 or by e-mail to Kirit Dalal at

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 17-675. Filed for public inspection April 21, 2017, 9:00 a.m.]

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