Trust EDGE to help you breeze through the tightened requirements.
As of October 1, 2015, companies across the United States are now tasked with reducing ozone emission levels by 5 parts per billion (ppb), thanks to the EPA’s final National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) rule. The changes necessary to meet these new requirements need to occur more quickly than the EPA’s announced timeline may suggest.
The EPA’s revision of the primary ground-level ozone standard demands a reduction in levels from the current standard of 75 ppb to a tightened 70 ppb. According to the EPA, the aim of this primary standard revision is to diminish the negative health effects O3 exposure has on the human population, which clinical studies found can be “harmful to healthy exercising adults” at levels of 72 ppb. The new rule also strengthens the secondary standard, which is geared toward improving protection for vegetation, to 70 ppb.
Though attainment and nonattainment designations for the revised standards will not be made until late 2017, air quality data already collected, as early as 2014, will likely be used in making these designations. This means, in order to avoid stricter emission regulations at the federal, state and local levels in the event of a nonattainment designation, companies need to immediately begin implementing plans to lower emissions. What’s more, companies seeking preconstruction permit applications from this point forward may face a slower approval process as the EPA works to establish new rules and guidelines for obtaining permits in light of the new standards.
However, perhaps an unforeseen opportunity for companies to generate additional Emission Reductions Credits (ERCs) has been created by these lowered emission standards. Should an area receive a nonattainment designation, it also becomes an area in which additional ERCs may be generated. With our deep understanding of the EPA’s New Source Review Program, EDGE can assist your business in intelligently managing its ERCs by identifying opportunities to further reduce emissions or acquire new credits from new areas or interpollutant trading.
Additionally, the EDGE Air Quality Management Services Practice is constantly at the forefront of regulatory and technological changes and permitting and management strategies to help our clients with everything from fast permit approvals to long-term compliance.
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Sources: Environmental Protection Agency | Texas Chemical Council | Texas Commission on Environmental Quality | Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality