Board disappointed by EPA announcement
Published on November 19, 2021
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced yesterday its final decision to expand the ozone nonattainment area boundary for the 2015 ozone standards at the northern border of Weld County, rather than retain the current boundary that runs through the middle of county through Weld County Road 100, which would be consistent with the 2008 ozone standards. The EPA’s final designation and related documents are available at: https://www.epa.gov/ozone-designations/final-rule-additional-revised-air-quality-designations-2015-ozone-national
The Weld County Board Commissioners is extremely disappointed by the EPA’s final decision. The board submitted lengthy comments in July, which demonstrated through in-depth technical analyses that the data do not support the EPA’s proposed decision. In fact, the analysis indicates that the EPA did not consider relevant data that show northern Weld County does not contribute to ozone violations any more than other area outside the current nonattainment area. Those comments and technical analyses are available at: https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0548-0459/comment.
The board is particularly troubled by the EPA’s decision to not consider the most recent four years of available monitoring, weather data and modeling results in making its designation, data and modeling that do not support the EPA’s proposed and final designation for Weld County. The board is evaluating its options with respect to the EPA’s final designation and is carefully reviewing the record of the EPA’s final designation and the data and technical analyses on which it relies.