Ozone Standard Designation Recommendations for Virginia

On November 21, 2011, the DEQ Director submitted updated air quality designation recommendations for Virginia for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  These recommendations denote the status of areas in the Commonwealth that are or are not in compliance with the new standard based direct monitoring and/or indirect evidence.  In summary, one area was identified by the DEQ as not meeting the new standard at the present time.  This area is:

  • Northern Virginia  (Arlington County, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County, City of Alexandria, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, City of Manassas, and City of Manassas Park)

On December 9, 2011, EPA notified Virginia that it intends to support Virginia’s recommended nonattainment area designations and boundaries for Northern Virginia, which is part of the Washington D.C.-MD-VA area.  EPA also intends to designate the remaining counties, cities and areas in Virginia that are not listed above as “unclassifiable/attainment” for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

On February 7, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule that would take a necessary step to implement the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone.The final rule was published on March 6, 2015; additional information regarding the 2008 NAAQS for ground-level ozone can be found on EPA's web site. 

On October 1, 2015, the U.S EPA adopted a new more stringent 8-hour ozone standard that is set at 0.070 parts per million (or 70 part per billion). The final rule for the 2015 8-hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard was published October 26, 2015. State recommendations on area designations for this new standard were due to the EPA by October 1, 2016. EPA will consider these recommendations and either accept or modify them.

EPA will notify the Commonwealth by letter no later than June 2, 2017 of any modifications and will then provide a 30-day public comment period. The Commonwealth will have an opportunity to submit additional information prior to EPA’s final issuance of designations by October 1, 2017.
Additional information on the 2015 ozone standard can be found on EPA's web site. 


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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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