August 11, 2003 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with over 30 communities who will reach ozone non-attainment status in 2004 because of the proposed 8-hour ozone standard. Communities close to or exceeding the 8-hour ozone standard will have the opportunity to enter into an Early Action Compact to start reducing air pollution at least two years sooner than required by the Clean Air Act.
Cities which are impacted include Austin, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; San Antonio, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and the East Texas region (Longview/Tyler). Communities participating in the Early Action Compacts must submit plans for meeting the national 8-hour ozone air quality standard in 2004, rather than waiting until 2007 -- the deadline for other areas not meeting the 8-hour ozone standard.
PIA-MidAmerica is monitoring this program closely to make sure that industry guidelines, which have already been drawn in non-attainment areas such as Kansas City, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston, will be implemented rather than these cities developing more severe restrictions. "We have had preliminary discussions with the group representing Austin, and we are concerned that much of the work produced by the state agencies and the Association are not being used," stated PIA-MidAmerica president Joe Polanco. "We will work with these groups to make sure they understand the unique mix of printers in their city and that our industry is not really a 'bad player' when it comes to producing ozone precursors."
Preliminary discussion in Oklahoma tends to indicate that no specific action or programs will impact printing companies, but the Early Action Compact will continue to be monitored.
Individuals wishing to know more about the Early Action Compact or the Clean Air Act, can contact Joe Polanco at [email protected]