Some Good News – EPA Finds that San Joaquin Valley Meets 1 Hr. Ozone Standard!

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that the San Joaquin Valley nonattainment area “has attained the 1-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard”.  This determination is based on sufficient, quality-assured, and certified data for the 2012-2014 period. Ozone data collected in 2015 shows continued attainment of the standard in the San Joaquin Valley.  EPA noted that preliminary data for 2015 was consistent with continued attainment in the San Joaquin Valley. The Valley covers approximately 23,000 square miles and includes all of Fresno, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare counties, as well as the western half of Kern County.  EPA agrees with reports and associated analyses, submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (“District”), and finds the Valley has attained the 1-hour ozone standard.  While this is great news, unfortunately it does not in any way change the air quality regulations related to ozone.  That is because EPA has adopted an 8 hour ozone standard that is much lower and much more difficult to achieve.  Nonetheless, as trucks, tractors and off-road equipment are being replaced ozone measurements have dropped considerably in the last ten years as air quality has drastically improved!