An analysis of the impacts and non-attainment risks of the revised sulfur dioxide national ambient air quality standard on the Toledo core based statistical area using the American Meteorological Society-Environmental Protection Agency regulatory model
The Toledo Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) presents an interesting case study for the new sulfur dioxide (SO2) one hour standard. Since no SO2 monitor within 75 miles to estimate the attainment status of the area, American Meteorological Society/Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model (AERMOD) was used in this study to predict potential problems associated with the newly revised standard. The Toledo CBSA is home to two oil refineries, a glass making industry, several coal fired lime kilns, and a sulfuric acid regeneration plant, The CBSA 3 has coal fired power plants within a 30 mile radius of its center. Additionally, Toledo is a major Great Lakes shipping port visited by both lake and ocean going vessels. As a transportation hub, the area is also traversed by several rail lines which feed four rail switching yards. Impacts of older generation freighters, or "steamers", utilizing high sulfur "Bunker C" fuel oil in the area is also an issue. With the unique challenges presented by an SO2 one hour standard, this study attempted to estimate potential problem areas in advance of any monitoring data being gathered. Based on the publicly available data as inputs, it appears that a significant risk of non-attainment may exist in the Toledo CBSA. However, future on-the-books controls and currently proposed regulatory actions appear to drive the risk below significance by 2015. Any designation as non-attainment should be self-correcting and without need for controls other than those used in these models. The outcomes of this screening study are intended for use as a basis for assessments for other mid-sized, industrial areas without SO2 monitors. The results may also be utilized by industries and planning groups within the Toledo CBSA to address potential issues in advance of monitoring system deployment to lower the risk of attaining long term or perpetual non-attainment status.