Determinations of Attainment by the Attainment Date, Extension of the Attainment Date, and Reclassification of Areas Classified as Serious for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes three actions pursuant to section 181(b)(2) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) related to seven areas classified as ``Serious'' for the 2008 ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). First, the Agency proposes to determine that one area attained the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the July 20, 2021, attainment date. Second, the Agency proposes to deny a request for a 1-year attainment date extension for one area and to determine that the area failed to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the attainment date, while also taking comment on granting that request. Third, the Agency proposes to determine that five areas failed to attain the 2008 ozone NAAQS by the attainment date and do not qualify for a 1-year attainment date extension.. The effect of failing to attain by the attainment date is that such areas will be reclassified by operation of law to ``Severe'' upon the effective date of the final reclassification notice. Except for one separate tribal area, states will need to submit state implementation plan (SIP) revisions that meet the statutory and regulatory requirements for any areas reclassified as Severe for the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The EPA proposes deadlines for submission of those SIP revisions and for implementation of the related control requirements. Additionally, for any areas reclassified as Severe, where not already prohibited, the CAA would prohibit the sale of conventional gasoline and require that federal reformulated gasoline instead be sold beginning 1 year after the effective date of the reclassification. This action, when finalized, will fulfill the EPA's statutory obligation to determine whether ozone nonattainment areas attained the NAAQS by the attainment date and to publish a document in the Federal Register identifying each area that is determined as having failed to attain and identifying the reclassification. Several areas included in this proposed rule are also addressed in a separate rulemaking to determine whether areas classified as ``Marginal'' for the 2015 ozone NAAQS attained the standard by the applicable attainment date of August 3, 2021 (see Docket ID EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0742).