needed to ensure attainment by the area’s attainment date (40 CFR 51.908). Specifically, it

states that emission reductions needed for attainment must be implemented by the beginning of

the ozone season immediately preceding the area’s attainment date. The PM2.5 implementation

rule contains similar provisions. It states that emissions reductions should be in place by the

beginning of the year preceding the attainment date (40 CFR 51.1007).

The logic for requiring emissions reductions by the year (or season) immediately

preceding the attainment year follows from language in the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act

(172(a)(2)(C)) identifies a process by which attainment is expected to occur. Shortly after the

attainment deadline, EPA is to evaluate whether areas have attained. If the area is clean for the

last three years, then the area has met the attainment deadline. But if the area was above the

standard for earlier years/seasons but has clean data for the single year/season immediately

preceding the attainment date (and if the area has met planning requirements), the area is

eligible for a 1-year extension of the attainment deadline. If the air is clean again the following

year, the area is eligible for a second 1-year extension of the attainment deadline. The

expectation is then that the third year's data, in combination with data from years 1 and 2, will

show attainment (This is commonly referred to as the “clean data policy”.) Therefore, emissions

in the year preceding the attainment year should be at a level that is consistent with attainment.

It also follows that the year preceding the attainment year should be modeled for attainment

planning purposes.

 

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