WSR 03-10-061


[ Filed May 5, 2003, 12:20 p.m. ]



Designating Ozone Areas in Washington State

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops air pollution standards to protect human health. EPA issued an eight-hour ozone standard in 1997. Under this standard, ozone levels must be no higher than 0.08 parts per million averaged over an eight-hour time period.

Federal law requires EPA to designate areas of states as attainment, nonattainment, or unclassifiable for the eight-hour ozone standard this year. A designation of "attainment" means an area has met the eight-hour ozone standard during the three-year period 1997-1999. "Nonattainment" means an area has violated the standard during that time period, and the state must develop a plan to bring the area into attainment with the standard. "Unclassifiable" means an area cannot be designated as either attainment or nonattainment because no monitoring data is available.

The designation process starts with a recommendation from the state on the appropriate designations. In June 2000, Washington recommended that all areas of the state, except tribal lands, be designated "attainment/unclassifiable." (Tribal lands are not affected because tribes have authority over air quality within the boundaries of their reservations.) EPA did not act on designations for the eight-hour ozone standard at that time because of legal challenges to the standard. The legal challenges have now been resolved, and EPA has entered into a consent decree to designate areas by April 15, 2004. EPA has requested that states submit recommended designations in July 2003.

Washington is again recommending that all areas of the state, except for tribal lands, be designated "attainment/unclassifiable." The state is considering this recommendation because all areas of Washington either meet the eight-hour standard, or are not monitored. The state would not be required to take any further actions if all areas are designated attainment/unclassifiable.

EPA will evaluate the state recommendation and the monitoring records to determine the appropriate designation.

The Department of Ecology will hold a public hearing to receive comments on the recommendation to designate all areas of Washington as attainment/unclassifiable for the eight-hour ozone standard. The hearing is scheduled as follows:

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

2:00 p.m .

Department of Ecology

Headquarters Building

Room OA-34

300 Desmond Drive

Lacey, WA

Written comments must be postmarked no later than June 20, 2003, and should be sent to Doug Schneider, Department of Ecology Air Quality Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600. If you have special accommodation needs, please call Tami Dahlgren at (360) 407-6830 (voice) or 1-800-833-6388 (TTY only) at least one week prior to the hearing.

For more information about the designation of ozone areas in Washington, please contact Doug Schneider, Department of Ecology Air Quality Program, (360) 407-6874.

Legislature Code Reviser 


Washington State Code Reviser's Office