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On September 22, 2011, the EPA announced that it was moving forward to implement the 2008 ozone standard, starting with the recommendations the states made in 2009 and updating them with the most current, certified air quality data. The Agency anticipates issuing proposed changes to the states' recommendations later this fall. EPA indicates that it will quickly initiate and complete a rulemaking to establish nonattainment area classification thresholds so that it can finalize the designations. Based on initial review of the 2008-2010 ozone air quality data, 52 areas that monitor air quality exceed the 0.075 ppm standard. EPA expects to finalize the nonattainment designations for the 2008 ozone standard by mid-2012. However, EPA notes that it faces litigation with respect to the timing of the designations and expects that the resolution of the litigation may well affect the precise timing of the schedule for designations.

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