The regulatory clock is ticking as the EPA considers air quality data for the Uintah Basin that categorizes the Basin in noncompliance with EPA ozone standards. According to Dr. Seth Lyman, USU Energy Research Director, the change last Fall in the EPA pollution standard to 70 parts per billion sends the basin into nonattainment for ozone and as a result stricter regulations are the expected result. “It will take a few years to create a plan to bring the Basin back into attainment,” explains Lyman. “Additional regulations on emissions is likely.” The implications of increased regulations can be hefty and among the frustration felt by local leaders is that it only takes 1 monitoring station to send the entire Basin into noncompliance. The Ouray station tends to be the highest, shares Lyman, and that nonattainment situation we are in triggers a cascade of action against the Basin. A possible bright spot is that the EPA is considering the case to discount certain nonattainment events because some exceedances are due to extreme ozone events that pull ozone down to the surface and cases of exceptional events can be excluded from the EPA analysis. If that happens, says Lyman, it could lower the 3-year-average of ozone exceedances from a moderate level to a marginal level and could ultimately result in a less stringent regulatory situation. To view the data from air quality stations around the Basin, visit



www.ubair.usu.edu



.