EPA plans to designate 13 areas as attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone standard under Early Action Compact agreements. EPA is proposing this action because each of the areas has demonstrated that they attained the standard by Dec. 31, 2007.
Early Action Compacts give certain local areas the flexibility to develop their own approach to meeting the 8-hour ozone standard, provided the communities control emissions from local sources earlier than the Clean Air Act would otherwise require. For areas that do not meet the ozone standard, attainment dates range from 2009-2021, depending upon the severity of the ozone problem.
The 13 Early Action Compact areas that have attained the 8-hour ozone standard are:
Frederick County/Winchester, Va.
Washington County/Hagerstown, Md.
Berkeley and Jefferson Counties, W.Va.
Hickory area, N.C.
Greensboro area, N.C.
Columbia area, S.C.
Chattanooga area, Tenn.
Nashville area, Tenn.
Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol area, Tenn.
San Antonio area, Texas
EPA has been working with these areas to reduce ground-level ozone, or smog, as quickly as possible. Together with EPA, these communities entered into agreements called Early Action Compacts. The Early Action Compacts program has provided a strong incentive for state and local governments, civic leaders and business to develop innovative, cost-effective strategies for improving ozone air quality that are tailored to individual communities.
By reducing pollution ahead of schedule, these communities are bringing sustainable health and environmental improvements to their residents sooner than would have been achieved without these agreements.