Early Action Compacts - 1997 Ozone Standard
June 24, 2009 - EPA releases a case-study assessment of the Early Action Compact program. The Agency undertook this assessment of the program to learn what worked well and what did not.
In December 2002, 33 states submitted compact agreements pledging to meet the 1997 8-hour ozone standard earlier than required. The states had to meet a number of criteria, and had to agree to meet certain milestones. The most significant milestone was that the EAC areas had to be in attainment by December 31, 2007, based on air quality data from 2005, 2006, and 2007.
The voluntary EAC program provides a flexible approach to reducing pollution to help 14 communities that did not meet the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, as well as 15 communities which met the standard and want to be proactive about reducing air pollution.
EPA officially designated nonattainment areas in April 2004. Of the 33 areas who entered into the EAC, 14 were designated “nonattainment deferred”. That is, the areas would have been designated nonattainment if they had not previously entered into the EAC. As long as these 14 Early Action Compact Areas met agreed upon milestones, the impact of the designations would be deferred. Only one area failed to meet all milestones - 13 EAC areas remain in the program.
Early Action Compacts require communities to:
- Develop and implement air pollution control strategies;
- Account for emissions growth, and;
- Achieve and maintain the 1997 national 8-hour ozone standard.
The EAC Areas are:
- Frederick County/Winchester, Va.
- Roanoke, Va.
- Washington County/Hagerstown, Md.
- Berkeley & Jefferson Counties, W.Va.
- Hickory/Greensboro area, N.C.
- Fayetteville, N.C.
- Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, S.C.
- Columbia area, S.C.
- Chattanooga area, Tenn.
- Nashville area, Tenn.
- Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol area, Tenn.
- San Antonio area, Texas