BRCAC and CRPC Enter Into EPA’s Ozone Advance Program on Behalf of the Baton Rouge Metro Area

November 27, 2012

On April 4, 2012, EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards announced their new voluntary Ozone Advance Program, which continues and expands EPA’s cooperative work with state, tribal, and local governments.  The Program is patterned after earlier ozone mitigation programs such as Ozone Flex and Early Action Compacts, although divorced from ozone attainment regulatory requirements altogether.  The overarching objective of the Ozone Advance Program is to encourage emission reductions in ozone attainment areas to help them to continue to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.  Program goals designed to help achieve the objective are:

      1. Help attainment areas to ensure continued attainment of the ozone standard and health protection
      2. Better position areas to remain in attainment
      3. Efficiently direct available resources toward actions to address ozone problems quickly

Louisiana areas that are presently in attainment for the ozone standard and that have become participants in the Ozone Advance Program include:

  • Imperial Calcasieu Regional Planning and Development Commission for the Southwest Louisiana Area
  • Regional Planning Commission for the New Orleans, LA area
  • Cities of Shreveport and Bossier City, Caddo Parish Commission, and Bossier and DeSoto Parish Police Juries for the Shreveport, LA area
  • South Central Louisiana (river parishes)

Although Ozone Advance was designed primarily for areas in attainment of the ozone standard, the stakeholders of BRCAC and CRPC felt there were significant advantages for the Baton Rouge Ozone Nonattainment Area to join the Program.  Principally, it was felt that participating in the program would facilitate the area’s efforts to achieve attainment of the ozone standard as well as provide for possible mitigation of consequences of failure to attain the standard within the prescribed three-year period.

On June 22, 2012, Baton Rouge Clean Air Coalition (BRCAC) and Capital Region Planning Commission (CRPC) jointly prepared a letter with the Notice of Intent and request to be accepted into the EPA’s Ozone Advance Program.  On July 9th, both BRCAC and CRPC received letters from EPA indicating that they and the Baton Rouge area met the eligibility criteria and were welcomed as participants in this innovative program.

Participation in the Ozone Advance Program entails:

  • Using best efforts to move quickly toward implementing measures that might reduce ozone levels and increase public awareness
  • Develop a plan (“path forward”) within a year of sign up
  • Implement path forward measures as soon as possible
  • Annual informal status check-ins

The Baton Rouge area might benefit from participating in the Program through:

  • Enhanced ozone attainment efforts and greater probability for achieving attainment within the specified three years
  • EPA assistance
  • A rallying vehicle for public/stakeholder awareness and involvement
  • Recognition of the area’s efforts to achieve ozone attainment
  • Possible grant preference for the Diesel Emission Reduction Act program funding

The joint BRCAC/CRPC workgroup has determined that our “path forward” should include the following tasks:

      1. Develop and implement an effective public awareness/outreach program
      2. Identification and documentation of ozone mitigation measures already implemented in the Baton Rouge area
      3. Identification and documentation of ozone mitigation measures that are in the process of currently being implemented
      4. Research, analysis, and compilation of additional measures that would be feasible and cost-effective for implementation in the Baton Rouge area
      5. Selection of a suite of measures for which to pursue implementation
      6. Annual check-ins.

To stimulate thinking about possible ozone reduction measures, our workgroup has compiled a preliminary list of innovative ozone mitigation strategies under the areas of alternative energy, energy efficiency, episodic controls, and urban heat island measures.  Additionally, we feel it would be helpful to consider the various measures according to emissions sources categories:

  • Point Source (e.g. industrial facilities)
  • Area Source (e.g. homes, businesses, lawn care, agriculture)
  • Mobile Sources
  • On-road (e.g. cars, trucks)
  • Off-road (e.g. trains, planes, marine vessels, construction equipment)

LIST OF INNOVATIVE OZONE MITIGATION STRATEGIES

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

–       Use of Renewable Energy in the Residential and Commercial Sector

–       On-Road Fleet Vehicle Retrofitting/Alternative Energy Incentive Program

–       Off-Road Vehicle Retrofitting/Alternative Energy Incentive Program (e.g. Tug Boats, Locomotives)

–       Incentive Program for Use of Alternative Energy/Clean Fuels in Non-Road Source Category (e.g. Construction)

–       Truck Idle Emission Reductions

–       Locomotives Idle Emission Reductions

–       Waste to Energy

–       Tax Credit for Purchase of Alternative Fuel On-road Vehicles for Non-Commercial Use

–       Renewable/Cleaner Energy in Oil and Gas Industries 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

–       Green Buildings

–       Building Energy Management

–       Energy Efficient Lighting

–       Energy Star Program

–       Combined Heat and Power (CHP)

–       State EERS Standards

–       Indirect Source Mitigation

–       Public Outreach/Education

–       Weatherization of Older Homes in Low Income Areas

–       Expanded Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D)

–       Indirect Source Mitigation for Mobile Sources

EPISODIC CONTROLS

–       Electric Demand Days (HEDD) Program

–       Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Reduction

–       Delay of Low priority Activities

–       Use of Low Emission Fuel High

URBAN HEAT ISLAND

–       Reflective Roofs

–       Increase in Vegetative and Tree Canopy Cover

–       Environment Surface Albedo Changes – Public Sector

–       Environment Surface Albedo Changes – Private Sector

BRCAC and CRPC will be seeking public input to help identify, evaluate, and implement innovative ozone mitigation measures in the Baton Rouge area to help improve air quality and achieve attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone.

 

 

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