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Improving Air Quality in Greenville County, SC Ground Level Ozone (O 3 ) Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5 ) The Challenge: Air Pollution.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Air Quality in Greenville County, SC Ground Level Ozone (O 3 ) Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5 ) The Challenge: Air Pollution."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Air Quality in Greenville County, SC Ground Level Ozone (O 3 ) Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5 ) The Challenge: Air Pollution

2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards Clean Air Act (CAA) requires USEPA to set national standards for air quality –Use “Good Science and Best Practices” –Primary standards set limits to “Protect Public Health” –Secondary standards set limits to “Protect Public Welfare” Against visibility impairment Damage to animals, crops, vegetation, buildings, and monuments

3 National Ambient Air Quality Standards States are required to implement a monitoring network –Determine the status of states’ Ambient Quality Standards –Results determine if areas are Attainment: air is cleaner than or meet standards Non-attainment: don’t meet standards –Depending on attainment status Decide to implement actions and establish laws and regulations

4 National Ambient Air Quality Standards USEPA promulgated standards in July 1997 –8 hour ground level O 3 and PM 2.5 Industries and state governments challenged EPA decision DC Circuit Court decision of March 26, 2002 –EPA had “engaged in reasoned decision making” –Cleared the path for EPA to move forward with implementation of the standards

5 Greenville County Council Resolution November 2002 County Council forward thinking –Non-attainment classification may result in Restrictive permitting requirements Defined growth policy for industry Restrictions on the distribution and use of federal highway funds Negative economic impacts and diminished job growth –Place great value and importance on the health of citizens and the need for clean air

6 County Councils of Anderson, Greenville, and Spartanburg adopted their respective resolutions Cooperative means for improving air quality in Upstate SC and meeting applicable state and federal air quality standards with respect to Ground Level O 3 Entered into an EAC with USEPA and SCDHEC Air Quality Early Action Compact (EAC)

7 Southeast Attainment Status for Ground Level O 3 Source: Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson Counties are designated “non-attainment”

8 Upstate SC Attainment Status for PM 2.5 Source: Greenville, Spartanburg, and Anderson Counties are designated “unclassifiable”

9 USEPA, SCDHEC, G-S-A Counties Working together –Established the Upstate Air Quality Steering Committee –Developed and continue implementing a set of strategies to bring cleaner air sooner than EPA’s requirements –Established the goal to be in attainment by December 2007

10 Good News on Ground Level O 3 Upstate SC began reducing air pollution two years earlier than required by the CAA A maintenance plan is being developed to keep us in attainment during the next designation cycle

11 Maximum Daily 8-Hour Average O 3 Concentrations in Upstate SC Source:

12 What is Good O 3 ? Good O 3 occurs in the atmosphere’s upper level (stratosphere) and protects us from sun’s harmful UV rays Good O 3 Bad O 3

13 What is Bad O 3 ? Bad O 3 occurs in the atmosphere’s lower level (troposphere) –During hot dry summer days –Main ingredient of smog –Bad for our respiratory system Especially children, elderly, people with respiratory illnesses, and people who are active outdoors –Damages vegetation and other materials –It is seasonal, usually April to September

14 On hot, dry summer days, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted by sources such as pine trees react with Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emitted by sources such as cars and industrial plants to form ozone How O 3 at Ground Level Forms? VOCs + NOx + Sunlight = O 3

15 Sources of VOCs –Household products –Trees, especially pine trees, naturally release VOCs –Fumes released when filling up vehicles with gasoline or diesel –Poorly operating vehicle engines

16 VOCs + NOx + Sunlight = O 3 Sources of NOx –On and off-road motor vehicles, electric utilities, and other industrial, commercial, and residential sources that burn fuels (gasoline, diesel, coal)

17 VOCs + NOx + Sunlight = O 3 When high levels of VOCs and NOx are present in the air, they react in the presence of sunlight and hot weather conditions forming O 3 ++ = O 3

18 O 3 Monitoring Network in SC

19 What is Particulate Matter? Particulate matter –Known as particle pollution or PM –Complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets –Made up of acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles Many sizes and shapes It is a year-round matter

20 Sources of Pollutants Generating PM 2.5 Primary particles –Emitted directly from a source –Construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires Secondary particles –Complicated reactions of chemicals in the atmosphere such as sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides –Emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles making up most of the fine particle pollution

21 Types and Size of PM 2.5 ? Coarse particles –Found near roads and dusty industries –Range in size from 2.5 to 10 micrometers (µm) in diameter Average human hair is about 70µm in diameter Fine particles –Found in smoke and haze –Smaller than 2.5µm –Can be directly emitted from forest fires, gases emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles

22 PM 2.5 Monitor Network in SC

23 Health Effects of High Levels of Ground Level O 3 and PM 2.5 Irritates respiratory system –reduces lung function –produces coughing, throat irritation, and congestion –inflames and damages cells that line lungs –aggravates chronic lung diseases (asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema) –causes permanent lung damage

24 Who Is Affected by High Levels of Ground Level O 3 and PM 2.5 ? Children Elderly People with respiratory illnesses People who are active outdoors

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27 Sources US Environmental Protection Agency –http://www.epa.gov/epahome/educational.htm SC Department of Health and Environmental Control –http://www.scdhec.gov/eqc/baq/html/ozone.html

28 Contact Information John Owings Manager of Current Planning Phone: (864) Fax: (864) Sandra Yúdice Assistant to the County Administrator Phone: (864) Fax: (864)


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