This week, the State of Ohio held a public hearing to take comments on a proposal whereby the state would ask U.S. EPA to recognize that air quality in the Columbus region meets the federal air quality standard for ozone.
Data collected from 2012-2014 demonstrates that the region’s air quality meets the former 75 parts per billion (ppb) standard, the standard until U.S. EPA lowered it to 70 ppb last fall. The region includes Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Knox, Licking and Madison counties.
This action would erase central Ohio’s “nonattainment” designation. In nonattainment areas Ohio EPA has a duty to ensure that air quality is improving when issuing new permits. The permitting process is more stringent in nonattainment areas.
If U.S. EPA moves central Ohio into the attainment category, the region’s manufacturers will benefit in the permitting process.