8-Hour Ozone

2015 Designation Process


The Clean Air Act requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for pollutants considered harmful to public health and the environment. EPA recently reviewed the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone and proposed to strengthen them to a more protective level. The new ozone standard is an 8-hour average concentration of 70 parts per billion. Based on this revised standard, all states must evaluate areas for compliance with the ozone standard. The outcome of the designation process will be a recommended list of counties in the state that currently monitor or are contributing to 8-hour ozone violations.

Ozone Basics

Ozone at ground-level is a primary pollutant of concern in Kansas. Air pollutant levels measured against the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), shows that areas across the state are currently attaining this new standard. If an area monitors or contributes to violations of the ozone standard, actions must be taken to help prevent the emissions that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone

Similar to the weather in Kansas, the quality of the air can change from day to day. In order to help citizens understand the quality of the air on a day to day basis, the KDHE provides near real-time monitoring data from the Kansas Air Quality Monitoring Network.

The Ozone Designation Process

The process for designating nonattainment area boundaries allows the department to make a recommendation to EPA, but only EPA has the authority to make the final decision. EPA’s final designations will be based on air quality monitoring data, recommendations submitted by the states and tribes, and other technical information. States and tribes are encouraged to base their area recommendations on the three most recent years of air quality monitoring data available. For more information see the 2015 ozone designation guidance document. As in recent designations, when making boundary recommendations, EPA encourages air agencies to evaluate five factors:

  • air quality data

  • emissions and emissions-related data

  • meteorology

  • geography/topography

  • jurisdictional boundaries


Presentation from stakeholder meeting with Missouri DEQ on Aug. 22, 2016 |

2015 Ozone Designation letter to EPA September 30, 2016

Timeline for Final Ozone Designations


EPA promulgates 2015 Ozone NAAQS rule

October 2015

States submit recommendations for areas to be designated attainment and nonattainment

October 2016

EPA notifies states about any intended modification to their recommendations

June 2017

EPA publishes public notice of state recommendations and EPA's modifications and initiates a 30-day public comment period

June 2017

States submit additional information in response to any modifications by EPA

August 2017

EPA promulgates final ozone area designations

October 2017