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EPA Proposes Approval of San Francisco Bay Area Ozone Plan

Release Date: 7/9/2003
Contact Information: Leo Kay, (415) 947-4306

Announcement kicks off public comment period

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed to approve the 2001 Bay Area ozone attainment plan, which in conjunction with previously adopted measures, will reduce emissions of smog-producing hydrocarbons by 122 tons per day by 2006.

     The plan includes many new and existing air pollution control measures that state and local agencies have agreed to implement to improve local air quality.  New measures such as strengthened rules on paints and solvents will complement previously existing measures such as state mobile source rules designed to reduce exhaust from cars, trucks and on and off-road diesel engines.

     "This plan is a positive step forward," said Jack Broadbent, air division director for the EPA's Pacific Southwest Office in San Francisco.  "The plan's new air pollution control measures will complement the Bay Area's new tougher smog check program to bring cleaner air to Bay Area residents and beyond."

     If finalized, today's proposed approval will require state and local agencies to evaluate the plan's control strategy later this year, and will require them to submit revisions early next year that incorporate new data that is now becoming available.  One eagerly anticipated study will provide a more comprehensive look at Bay Area air quality and the degree to which local air emissions  affect downwind  areas such as the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.

     Today's proposed approval also signals that the EPA believes the plan's authors -- the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the Metropolitan Transit Commission, and the Association of Bay Area Governments -- have adequately addressed deficiencies in the previous plan, which was adopted in 1999.

     Today's action will also stop mandatory highway sanctions that would otherwise have been imposed in October.

     Those interested in providing input on the plan can do so during a 30-day public comment period that will begin in about two weeks.  To view the EPA's proposed action, go to  

     Comments can be sent via email to or by mail to US EPA - Air Division, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA, 94105, attention Ginger Vagenas.