The 2008 Ozone Forecast Season underway and there is a major change to the ozone standard. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to strengthen the 8-hour ozone standard from .08 ppm (84 ppb) to .075 ppm (75 ppb). This represents a 10 percent revision of the previous standard. The most noteworthy change will be a significant increase in the number of “Air Quality Action Days,” as well as the increased length of time for air quality episodes. The air quality statewide has actually improved over the past 5 to 10 years. In revising the standard, the EPA reviewed epidemiological data that indicated the threshold at which
people began experiencing air quality-related health issues was lower
than previously thought. Consequently, the expected increase in Air Quality Action Days reflects the revised standard and more adequately protects public health.