Air Pollutants - Ozone - Standards & Requirements
Nonattainment Boundaries and Designations
The federal Clean Air Act requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify areas in each state using these three designations:
- Attainment - area meets a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (standard)
- Nonattainment - area does not meet (or is contributing to nearby areas in not meeting) a standard
- Unclassifiable - there is not enough data to designate the area under a new or revised standard
EPA sets boundaries for areas designated nonattainment and unclassifiable based on recommendations from the states. States use ambient air monitoring networks, emissions inventories, EPA guidance, and other relevant information to make these recommendations. Furthermore, states and EPA request public input during the process.
Ozone Nonattainment Boundaries
2008 8-Hour Ozone Boundaries
|May 21, 2012||EPA published (77 FR 30160) the implementation rule for the 2008 ozone standard, which included the area classifications approach, attainment deadlines and revocation of the 1997 ozone standard for transportation conformity purposes. The effective date of this rule is July 20, 2012.|
|April 30, 2012||EPA has designated all of South Carolina as unclassifiable/attainment for the 2008 ozone standard,
except for a portion of York County. Although the monitor in York County is meeting this standard, EPA included the
eastern, urbanized area of York County in the Charlotte-Rock Hill, NC-SC nonattainment area because of its proximity to Charlotte.
This is the same portion of York County that EPA designated as nonattainment for the 1997 ozone standard, with the exception of the Catawba Indian Nation Reservation. EPA included the Catawba Indian Nation Reservation in the 1997 nonattainment area, but the EPA designated it as unclassifiable/attainment for the 2008 ozone standard. For more information, see EPA's website.
|February 29, 2012||DHEC responded to EPA's December 8, 2011, proposed boundary for the 2008 ozone standard.|
|February 7, 2012||EPA proposed the implementation rule for the 2008 ozone standard.|
|December 20, 2011||EPA announced a public comment period for its responses to states' and tribes' boundary recommendations for the 2008 ozone standard. On January 12, 2012, EPA extended the comment period deadline from January 19, 2012, to February 3, 2012.|
|December 9, 2011||DHEC certified the ozone monitoring data for the 2011 Ozone Season, further substantiating the "attainment" recommendation for each county of the entire State of South Carolina for the 2008 ozone standard.|
|December 8, 2011||EPA responded to DHEC's October 11, 2011, boundary recommendation for the 2008 ozone standard. EPA intends to modify DHEC's recommendation so that a portion of York County would be a part of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury, NC-SC nonattainment area. This is the same portion of York County that EPA designated nonattainment for the 1997 ozone standard. For more information, see EPA's website.|
|October 11, 2011||DHEC submitted an amendment to the 2008 boundary recommendations to EPA recommending all counties of the entire State be designated attainment.|
|September 22, 2011||EPA announced that it will implement the 2008 ozone standard. In this announcement, EPA discussed the designation process for the 2008 standard.|
|January 19, 2010||EPA announced that it was extending by 1 year the deadline for promulgating designations for the 2008 ozone standard that were promulgated in March 2008. The new deadline was set for March 2011.|
|September 16, 2009||EPA announced it would reconsider the 2008 ozone standard.|
|July 12, 2009||DHEC submitted an errata to the 2008 boundary recommendations to EPA.|
|March 12, 2009||Upon delegation of Governor Mark Sanford's authority, DHEC submitted South Carolina's boundary recommendations for the 2008 ozone standard to EPA.|
DHEC is prepared to meet new challenges and work closely with EPA and local multi-pollutant Clean Air Coalitions, stakeholders, local and county governments, and our citizens to improve our air quality. During the initial boundary designation process in 2008, DHEC held several meetings around the state announcing the proposed 2008 ozone boundaries, identifying areas with elevated monitored ozone concentrations, and discussing concerns. As a result, DHEC received comments from interested parties on its proposed boundary recommendations.
1997 8-Hour Ozone Standard Nonattainment Boundary Designations
In 1997, EPA promulgated an 8-hour ozone standard to replace the 1-hour standard. EPA revised the standards to establish the more stringent 8-hour standard at a level of 0.08 ppm. This was done to reflect the latest understanding of the effects of ozone exposure and to provide public health protection with an adequate margin of safety.
1997 8-hour Ozone Early Action Compact (EAC) process
Rock Hill-Fort Mill Area Transportation Study (RFATS)
Previous Ozone Standard Nonattainment Boundary Designations
Cherokee County Boundary Designation
On November 6, 1991, Cherokee County was designated by the EPA as a marginal nonattainment area because of multiple exceedances in 1988 of the 1-hour ozone standard at the air quality monitor located in the Cowpens National Battlefield.
On December 15, 1992, after three consecutive years of satisfactory air quality data, Cherokee County was redesignated by the EPA as attainment for the 1-hour ozone standard.
For more information please contact the Bureau of Air Quality at (803) 898-4123 or by email.