40 CFR Appendix H to Part 50, Interpretation of the 1-Hour Primary and Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone
This appendix explains how to determine when the expected number of days per calendar year with maximum hourly average concentrations above 0.12 ppm (235 µg/m 3) is equal to or less than 1. An expanded discussion of these procedures and associated examples are contained in the “Guideline for Interpretation of Ozone Air Quality Standards.” For purposes of clarity in the following discussion, it is convenient to use the term “exceedance” to describe a daily maximum hourly average ozone measurement that is greater than the level of the standard. Therefore, the phrase “expected number of days with maximum hourly average ozone concentrations above the level of the standard” may be simply stated as the “expected number of exceedances.”
The basic principle in making this determination is relatively straightforward. Most of the complications that arise in determining the expected number of annual exceedances relate to accounting for incomplete sampling. In general, the average number of exceedances per calendar year must be less than or equal to 1. In its simplest form, the number of exceedances at a monitoring site would be recorded for each calendar year and then averaged over the past 3 calendar years to determine if this average is less than or equal to 1.
The ozone standard states that the expected number of exceedances per year must be less than or equal to 1. The statistical term “expected number” is basically an arithmetic average. The following example explains what it would mean for an area to be in compliance with this type of standard. Suppose a monitoring station records a valid daily maximum hourly average ozone value for every day of the year during the past 3 years. At the end of each year, the number of days with maximum hourly concentrations above 0.12 ppm is determined and this number is averaged with the results of previous years. As long as this average remains “less than or equal to 1,” the area is in compliance.
In general, a valid daily maximum hourly average value may not be available for each day of the year, and it will be necessary to account for these missing values when estimating the number of exceedances for a particular calendar year. The purpose of these computations is to determine if the expected number of exceedances per year is less than or equal to 1. Thus, if a site has two or more observed exceedances each year, the standard is not met and it is not necessary to use the procedures of this section to account for incomplete sampling.
The term “missing value” is used here in the general sense to describe all days that do not have an associated ozone measurement. In some cases, a measurement might actually have been missed but in other cases no measurement may have been scheduled for that day. A daily maximum ozone value is defined to be the highest hourly ozone value recorded for the day. This daily maximum value is considered to be valid if 75 percent of the hours from 9:01 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (LST) were measured or if the highest hour is greater than the level of the standard.
In some areas, the seasonal pattern of ozone is so pronounced that entire months need not be sampled because it is extremely unlikely that the standard would be exceeded. Any such waiver of the ozone monitoring requirement would be handled under provisions of 40 CFR, part 58. Some allowance should also be made for days for which valid daily maximum hourly values were not obtained but which would quite likely have been below the standard. Such an allowance introduces a complication in that it becomes necessary to define under what conditions a missing value may be assumed to have been less than the level of the standard. The following criterion may be used for ozone:
A missing daily maximum ozone value may be assumed to be less than the level of the standard if the valid daily maxima on both the preceding day and the following day do not exceed 75 percent of the level of the standard.
Let z denote the number of missing daily maximum values that may be assumed to be less than the standard. Then the following formula shall be used to estimate the expected number of exceedances for the year:
This estimated number of exceedances shall be rounded to one decimal place (fractional parts equal to 0.05 round up).
It should be noted that N will be the total number of days in the year unless the appropriate Regional Administrator has granted a waiver under the provisions of 40 CFR part 58.
The above equation may be interpreted intuitively in the following manner. The estimated number of exceedances is equal to the observed number of exceedances (v) plus an increment that accounts for incomplete sampling. There were (N-n) missing values for the year but a certain number of these, namely z, were assumed to be less than the standard. Therefore, (N-n-z) missing values are considered to include possible exceedances. The fraction of measured values that are above the level of the standard is v/n. It is assumed that this same fraction applies to the (N-n-z) missing values and that (v/n)*(N-n-z) of these values would also have exceeded the level of the standard.