Areas where air pollution levels persistently exceed the standards may be designated as nonattainment. These areas may consist of a county, a partial county or a group of counties. Once the area emissions fall below the standard, the area may be redesignated as "attainment with a maintenance plan". For additional explanation of these terms, please see Air Quality Terms and Abbreviations
. Further information can be found in the Air Quality FAQ Brochure
June 2004, EPA designated 8 Counties in Kentucky as nonattainment for the 1997
8-hour Ozone standard of 0.080 parts per million (ppm). See EPA's 8-hour Designation.
Those Counties included Boyd, Boone, Bullitt, Campbell, Christian, Jefferson,
Kenton and Oldham. Since that original designation, Boyd, Bullitt, Christian,
Jefferson, and Oldham Counties have all been redesignated back to attainment
with an approved Maintenance Plan. See Map above.
April 2012, EPA established that the Agency would be vacating the 1997
Ozone standard, and implementing the new 2008 Ozone standard of 0.075 ppm. On
May 21, 2012, EPA released formally documentation announcing the nonattainment
areas for the new 2008 8-hour ozone standard would be made official on July 20,
2012. This would give areas that are designated as nonattainment a one year
grace period. At which time, on July 20, 2013, conformity determination for all
nonattainment areas would be due. For Kentucky, this included the partial
(Northern half) Counties of Boone, Kenton, and Campbell. All other areas within
the State adhere to the new standard. Formal documentation from the EPA on how
to officially revoke the 1997 8-hour Ozone standard for areas that adhere to
the new 2008 8-hour Ozone standard is still forthcoming.
plans to re-examine the standard in the summer of 2013 since this is when the
Clean Air Act (CAA) states that it must be re-evaluated. A proposal of what the
new 2013 8-hour Ozone would be should be out sometime in the last half of the
calendar year (2013).
April 2005, EPA designated 6 Counties and 1 partial County in Kentucky as nonattainment
for the 1997 fine particulate (PM2.5) standard. See EPA's Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)
Designations. Those Counties include Boone, Boyd, Bullitt, Campbell,
Jefferson, Kenton, and Lawrence (partial). See maps above. Since that original
designation, Boone, Campbell, and Kenton Counties have all been re-designated
back to attainment with an approved maintenance plan. In June 2012, EPA
announced that they hoped to have a proposed revision to the NAAQS for PM2.5 by
the end of this year. Further updates will be monitored upon their release from
The State Implementation Plan (SIP) defines the future maximum levels (called budgets) for each pollutant in each nonattainment and maintenance area. Transportation Conformity is a process that uses transportation and air quality models to examine future levels of emissions for each of these areas and ensures that the transportation plan does not worsen or cause air quality problems. Typically, a traffic model is developed based on planned roadway projects to determine projected traffic patterns, volumes, and speeds. These numbers, along with vehicle fleet characteristics and environmental information, are entered into the EPA MOVES 2010b emissions model to determine future emission levels. If the emission levels calculated are less than the budget for that pollutant, the area's long range transportation plan is determined to be "in conformity."
During the planning process, federal, state, and local transportation and environmental agencies consult and come to agreement on the inputs that are entered into the traffic model and MOVES 2010b model. Each time the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) or the short-range transportation plan, Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), is updated, transportation conformity must be examined. For information on transportation conformity at the federal level see,
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ)
Federal transportation legislation established the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program to provide funding for projects that improve traffic flow, reduce congestion, and ultimately improve air quality in designated nonattainment or maintenance areas. See Kentucky CMAQ Program for application and program requirements. For federal CMAQ information, see FHWA CMAQ Program.
Air Quality Information
Presentations, Reports, and Brochures
Past Air Quality Conference Presentations