Puget Sound region meeting all federal air quality standards

Good air quality news for the region:  We’re in attainment for all pollutants regulated by the federal government, including ozone and carbon monoxide.

Washington is the second most populous state in the country (after North Carolina) currently attaining all federal air quality standards.

Washington is the second most populous state in the country (after North Carolina) currently attaining all federal air quality standards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets federal standards for a number of air pollutants.

If an area exceeds the standard, EPA can designate it as “nonattainment.” After a period of meeting the standard, an area can apply for attainment status, and a 20-year maintenance period begins.

After the 20-year maintenance period, metropolitan planning organizations such as PSRC are no longer required to track transportation emissions for the pollutant.

Carbon Monoxide

Improvements to vehicle technology have contributed to the dramatic decline in carbon monoxide emissions in the region.

On October 21, the region will successfully complete a 20-year maintenance period and PSRC will no longer have to track carbon monoxide in its transportation conformity modeling.

Ozone

EPA revised the ozone standard to a more stringent level in 2015. The region has been monitoring levels to see if we would be out of attainment to the new standard.

So far the region is meeting the new standard, and the Department of Ecology is starting to work with the EPA to formalize our attainment status.

Other pollutants

The region continues to hold steady on other pollutants and is currently meeting all other standards.

For more detail, check out this summary of Regional Air Quality Status.

 

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