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Clean Data Petition, 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS Nonattainment Areas

Poughkeepsie, NY; Buffalo - Niagara Falls, NY; Jamestown, NY - July 31, 2009 Letter to EPA

Honorable George Pavlou
Acting Regional Administrator
U.S. EPA, Region 2
290 Broadway, 26th Floor
New York, NY 10007-1866

Dear Acting Regional Administrator Pavlou:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (Department) hereby petitions EPA to make a binding determination that the Poughkeepsie, NY; Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY; and Jamestown, NY areas that were designated nonattainment by EPA on April 30, 2004 have attained the 1997 8-hour ozone standard of 0.08 ppm and need not submit a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision concerning RFP, attainment demonstrations and contingency measures.

On May 5, 1995, John S. Seitz, Director of the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a memorandum entitled, "Reasonable Further Progress, Attainment Demonstration, and Related Requirements for Ozone Nonattainment Areas Meeting the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard." This memorandum set forth EPA's interpretation of certain requirements of subpart 2 of part D of title I of the Clean Air Act as they related to ozone nonattainment areas that are meeting the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).

EPA concluded that it is reasonable to interpret provisions regarding reasonable further progress (RFP) and attainment demonstrations, along with related requirements, so as not to require State Implementation Plan (SIP) submissions if an ozone nonattainment area subject to those requirements is in fact attaining the ozone standard. EPA previously interpreted the general provisions of subpart 1 so as not to require the submission of SIP revisions concerning RFP, attainment demonstrations, or contingency measures for such areas.

On April 30, 2004, EPA promulgated designations for the 8-hour Ozone NAAQS (69 FR 23858). Under the 8-hour standard, eight areas were designated nonattainment within New York State. Air quality monitors in the three area referenced above now monitor attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard. Specifically, the average of the ozone design values (fourth-highest reading) from the years 2006-2008 are at or below the 8-hour ozone standard of 0.08 ppm. Consequently, the entire state, with the exception of the New York State portion of the New York-N. New Jersey-Long Island, NY, NJ, CT metropolitan statistical area, is in attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard.

The following table contains complete, quality assured 2006-2008 8-hour ozone design values (in parts per million) that are certified by the Department as accurate:

Nonattainment Area Station AIRS ID 4th Max 2006 (ppm) 4th Max 2007 (ppm) 4th Max 2008 (ppm) Design Value (ppm)
Poughkeepsie, NY Valley Central 360715001 0.077 0.083 0.081 0.080*+
Millbrook Mt. 360270007 0.064 0.078 0.079 0.074
Ninham 360790005 0.073 0.085 0.069 0.079
Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY Amherst 36029002 0.083 0.085 0.076 0.081*+
Middleport 360631006 0.074 0.082 0.074 0.076
Jamestown, NY Dunkirk 360130006 0.083 0.086 0.084 0.084*+
Westfield 360130011 0.075 0.083 0.073 0.077

* Nonattainment Area Design Value
+ 0.08 when rounded to two significant figures pursuant to EPA guidance

On June 17, 2009, a public notice was published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin requesting comments on the proposed clean data petition. A thirty day public comment period ended on July 17, 2009. No comments were received. A copy of the public notice as published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin is enclosed.

The Department acknowledges that the suppression of the requirement to submit SIP revisions for the aforementioned provisions is in effect only as long as the areas continue to monitor attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard. New York will continue to operate its air quality monitoring network, and if an area experiences a violation of the standard, the area would be subject to a requirement to submit the pertinent SIP revision(s) and would need to address those requirements.

We look forward to working with you and your staff in an effort to gain timely approval of this petition. If you or your staff has any questions, or if additional information is required, please contact Mr. Robert Bielawa, P.E. at (518) 402-8396.

Sincerely,

J. Jared Snyder
Assistant Commissioner
Office of Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy