Wyoming DEQ comments on new EPA Ozone standard
DEQ will seek emission reductions to reduce ozone formation in the Upper Green River Basin
by Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
March 12, 2008
Today (March 12, 2008), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone. The new standard for eight-hour exposure durations is 75 parts per billion (ppb), which is significantly lower than the existing 84 ppb standard. The new standard is intended to limit ozone pollution to levels that do not cause adverse health effects to the general public.
"We recognize the significance of this new ozone standard," said David Finley, administrator for the DEQ Air Quality Division (AQD). "This new lower standard means that EPA has concluded that adverse health effects can come from exposures to lower concentrations of ozone, and it emphasizes the importance of reducing emissions."
DEQ has been conducting a special study of ozone formation in the Upper Green River Basin in Sublette County, near Pinedale. This area has experienced elevated levels of ozone during the months of January, February, and March, since monitoring began in 2005. Ozone appears to be elevated in the Basin when there are strong temperature inversions, low winds, snow cover, and bright sunlight, and levels return to normal when any one of those conditions change.
"Lowering the national standard to 75 ppb means that we will be seeking emission reductions to reduce ozone formation in the Upper Green River Basin to protect public health and minimize the need to issue ozone alerts in the future," added Finley.