EPA issues final nonattainment area designations for the 2015 ozone standard

On May 1, 2018, EPA issued final nonattainment area designations for the 2015 ozone standard. The final nonattainment areas include parts of counties in eastern Wisconsin (see table).  These final designations differ significantly from the intended nonattainment areas EPA proposed in their 120-day letter to the state. Final designations will be effective 60 days after publication of these designations in the Federal Register.

While EPA did not finalize the Governor’s recommendation to designate the entire state as attainment for the 2015 ozone standard, we appreciate that EPA did take into account the science and data DNR provided showing that ozone concentrations above the level of the 2015 ozone standard are limited to a narrow strip of land near the Lake Michigan lakeshore and are not meaningfully impacted by in-state emissions.

Final designations information can be found on EPA’s webpage: https://www.epa.gov/ozone-designations/additional-designations-2015-ozone-standards.

The 2015 ozone designations tab on DNR’s ozone webpage will soon be updated to include EPA’s designations information, maps of the final nonattainment areas, and an updated fact sheet:  https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/AirQuality/Ozone.html.

Gail Good, Director, Air Management
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
608-264-8537; gail.good@wisconsin.gov