Sheboygan Officially Designated NonattainmentMay 8, 2012
The EPA has determined that 45 areas across the country, including Sheboygan County, are not meeting the 2008 8-hour ozone standards based on the most recent certified air quality data. It is possible the number of Wisconsin counties with nonattainment status will increase by the end of the month as the EPA has yet to designate Kenosha County.
The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to review and, if necessary, revise air quality standards every five years to ensure that they protect public health with an adequate margin of safety. In 2008, the EPA set new smog standards at 75 parts per billion, and it is just now implementing that standard.
Sheboygan County barely exceeded the 75ppb standard, so it will be designated as a marginal nonattainment area, which is the lowest of six nonattainment classifications and carries the fewest regulatory requirements.
The EPA is still working on its designation of the Combined Statistical Area (CSA) that includes Chicago, which the EPA has decided includes Kenosha County. Because data indicates an ozone level violation in the Chicago CSA, the EPA announced on January 31, 2012 that intends to designate the Chicago-Naperville, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin area as nonattainment, with boundaries that include: Kenosha County in Wisconsin; Lake, Porter, and Jasper Counties in Indiana; and several counties in Illinois.
The EPA has yet to release its final decision on the Chicago CAS, but it is under court order to do so by May 31, 2012 thanks to a consent decree with the environmental organization WildEarth Guardians.
The EPA is already working on the next five-year review of the ozone standards, and currently expects to propose action in 2013.
- Final Classifications Rule
- Fact Sheet Summarizing Final Classifications Rule
- Overview Q and A
- Map of Final Designations for 2008 Ozone Standards
- Nonattainment Designations for the 2008 Ozone Standards - Counties by State, April 30, 2012
- Menu of Control Measures
Additional information on the 2008 Ozone Standard is available on the Great Lakes Legal Foundation Website.
This post was authored by GLLF staff attorney Emily Kelchen.