In March of 2010 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) were to be lowered to 0.075, but now EPA is proposing to strengthen the  8-hour “primary” ozone standard, designed to protect public health, to a level within the range of 0.060-0.070 parts per million (ppm).    Spartanburg County exceeded the EPA’s 1997 8-hour ozone standard of 0.08 parts per million (ppm) and narrowly attained the standard in December 2007. DHEC data from the Spartanburg monitor has shown average ozone levels at 0.083 parts per million, which is over the EPA current standard of 0.08 parts per million. Spartanburg is only in compliance by virtue of the fact that the EPA rounds figures down.

 A non-attainment designation will mean a loss of Federal Highway dollars (Spartanburg County received $ 6m last year) and a loss in economic development opportunities.    In two counties alone in Alabama – Jefferson and Shelby – county developers had to pass on 15 projects due to the EPA’s air quality non-attainment designation.  These projects represented 11,000 jobs and $ 4.6 billion in capital expenditures from 1990 -2000.

                          Clean Air Kid                                 

THE AIR WE BREATHE is a collaborative effort of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the Spartanburg Development Association, Upstate Forever, and Spartanburg County government, to reduce ground‐level ozone and other forms of air pollution in Spartanburg County. The goal of this campaign is to inform the general public about the impacts of ozone on community health, economic development and overall quality of life, and the easy behavioral changes they can make in their daily lives to decrease ground-level ozone.

Scenes pictured here – children playing in and learning in a nearby creek, families out enjoying a sunny day – represent idyllic outdoor activity in Spartanburg, a community rich with parks, waterways, and other recreational resources. But for asthma sufferers and other at-risk people in Spartanburg, high-ozone days can make the outdoors anything but hospitable.

In addition to the health effects of ground level ozone, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has told Spartanburg County that it must reduce levels of ozone pollution or face possible consequences that could include the loss of federal highway funds and restrictions on new industry – and that means Spartanburg could miss out on much needed jobs for local workers.

outdoor scenes


“We are entering a crucial period of time to tackle the issue of ground-level ozone in our community. I am looking forward to working with our partners on this issue.” Glenn Breed, Spartanburg County Administrator

We hope you will read the pages linked here. They provide additional information on the health effects of ground-level ozone, on EPA requirements, and on what we can all do to help tackle the problem. On a day-by-day basis, the color-coded chart gives you a look at projected ozone levels and what they mean for you and your family. The forecast runs March 30th through September 30th. To receive a daily air quality projection during ozone season in your e-mail inbox, subscribe here.




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