Since 1991, portions of Maricopa County have been subject to increased monitoring, planning, permitting and control technology requirements because the area did not timely attain the one-hour national ambient air quality standard for ozone. Even though Maricopa County has met the one-hour ozone standard since 1996, the nonattainment area requirements currently remain in effect. United States environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval of a formal redesignation request and a plan for maintaining compliance with the standard are necessary before the area is considered an attainment area for the one-hour standard. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) has prepared a maintenance plan which the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) should be noticing for public comment shortly. Unfortunately event when EPA approves the redesignation request and maintenance plan, Phoenix will still not be freed from the burdens of ozone nonattainment regulation.
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