Uinta Basin Ozone Work Group Est. Aug 29, 2018

The Uinta Basin was declared a Marginal Nonattainment Area effective Aug 3, 2018, starting a three year clock to prevent a worse designation of Moderate. With the knowledge that ozone affects the community’s health and that Moderate nonattainment brings with it automatic restrictions to the oil and gas industry, twenty-eight interested people met in the Uintah County Conference Center the afternoon before the 2018 UB Energy Summit and agreed to work towards reasonable, cost-effective measures to manage ozone levels.

The assembled group represented

  • regulators
  • political leaders
  • Ute Tribe
  • the regulated community
  • Advocates

The group is far from complete. All who are able to contribute to problem solving are invited to do so. To be added to the roster, please enter your contact information under the “Participate” tab.

SUMMARY OF INTRODUCTORY/EXPLORATORY MEETING: AUGUST 29, 2018

AND ACTION ITEMS

Mission statement: The Uinta Basin Ozone Working Group Work would bring together tribal and government decision-makers, stakeholders, and experts in an effort to prevent a Moderate designation for the Basin in three years. The UBOWG would aim to foster collaboration, develop mutual understanding, and benefit from collective knowledge and synergies to identify:

  • effective, economically viable measures to reduce ozone levels in the Uinta Basin
  • policies, public information, educational resources, and beneficial actions to support ozone level reductions.

 

High Level Meeting Summary

  1. General agreement on need for working group and the mission statement above.
  2. Both Utah DAQ and Ute Tribe put priority on keeping air safe for people living in the area while also allowing continued economic development; working to develop best processes to do this; timeliness of actions is critical.
  3. Marginal nonattainment does not require specific controls – all steps taken now will be beyond what is required by the Clean Air Act.
    1. All desire to avoid bump up to Moderate while recognizing it will be difficult
    2. Even one monitor not meeting the standard will be determinative
    3. Marginal attainment date is August 3, 2021; if bumped to Moderate, attainment date would be August 3, 2024.
  4. Proposed Group work product goals:
    1. Develop baseline understanding of causes of ozone in the Basin
    2. Produce information pieces to analyze/support mitigation options
    3. Produce educational pieces to establish common understanding of processes; options for mitigation; and public education
    4. Develop information collection/sharing website
    5. Produce report with reasonable mitigation steps that can be taken to reduce ozone levels while in marginal nonattainment
  5. Next meeting, late September (exact date to be decided)
    1. Presentation on ozone situation in the Uinta Basin: Causes, research findings, and information gaps
      1. Seth Lyman (USU) and Whitney Oswald (UDAQ)
    2. Brief Regulatory Overview of Ozone Nonattainment Requirements and Process (written piece)
      1. Marie Durrant (RQN), Sheila Vance (UDAQ), Chris Dresser (EPA)
    3. Information sharing site – how to access/contribute information
      1. Debbie Burney-Sigman (Breathe Utah)
    4. Presentation on General Conformity
      1. Erik Vernon (BLM)
    5. Presentation on voluntary measures already implemented by industry
      1. Stuart Siffring (Western Energy Alliance)
    6. Develop working group assignments for next meeting (proposed list – to be developed/added to before next meeting)
      1. How to credit voluntary/pro-active reductions/Ozone Advance
      2. Comparison with other areas that have taken pro-active steps to reduce ozone (Wyoming, Colorado, Four Corners)
      3. Identifying most effective emission reduction targets
      4. Accounting for factors outside of traditional regulation (background/inversions/ exceptional events etc.)
      5. Aligning regulations/credit/actions across air-sheds

 

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