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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 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These recommendations denote the status of areas in the Commonwealth that are or are not in compliance with the new standard based on direct monitoring and/or indirect evidence. In summary, one area was identified by the DEQ as not meeting the new standard. 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 intended to support Virginia’s recommended nonattainment area designations and boundaries. EPA published final designations on May 21, 2012. EPA designated Northern Virginia as part of the Washington DC-MD-VA area, as a marginal nonattainment area based on its air quality data. EPA designated all other portions of Virginia as attainment/unclassifiable for the 2008 ozone NAAQS.

On February 7, 2012, EPA proposed a rule that would take a necessary step to implement the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The final rule was published on March 6, 2015; additional information regarding the 2008 ozone NAAQS can be found on EPA's website.

The Washington DC-MD-VA area's air quality improved such that the area now complies with the 2008 ozone NAAQS. Virginia, in conjunction with the other states, created and submitted a redesignation request and maintenance plan for the area. EPA published proposed approval of this plan on August 8, 2018.

On October 1, 2015, the EPA adopted a new more stringent 8-hour ozone standard that is set at 0.070 parts per million (or 70 parts per billion). The final rule for the 2015 ozone NAAQS was published on October 26, 2015. State recommendations on area designations for this new standard were due to the EPA by October 1, 2016. Virginia's recommendations noted that all areas of the Commonwealth complied with the 2015 ozone NAAQS with the exception of Northern Virginia.

The U.S. EPA published final designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS on June 4, 2018. All areas of the Commonwealth were designated attainment/unclassifiable except Northern Virginia, which EPA designated as a marginal nonattainment area.

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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