be biased against states with higher-than-average numbers o monitoring sites, such as North Carolina.Prior to 2008, the EPA standard was less stringent, although still quite restrictive. Between 1997 and 2008 thestandard was .085 ppm or more over an eight-hour period. The purpose o this
is simply to make availablesome consistent data that avoids apples-and-oranges comparisons between time periods that could occur because o the two dierent standards. The graphs on the ollowing pages show the number o high ozone days on an average, permonitor basis over a ten-year time period—1999-2008. All data have been put in terms o the new .076 ppm standard.The graphs show ozone inormation or the state as a whole, or the major metropolitan areas and the western moun-tains. These regions are dened by North Carolina Division o Air Quality. The maps o these regions with the locationo each ozone monitor are also pictured. This inormation is presented on a per-monitor basis because, as noted, thenumber o monitors across the state as well as within regions have changed over time. In other words, the numbersshown on each graph give the average per monitor either in the state or in a particular region or the year shown.Note that ozone levels are very localized even within metropolitan areas or regions. A monitor on one side o acounty or region could register an exceedance while, at the same time, a monitor a ew mile away may not. For thatreason, the data presented here should not be read as an indication o how the air quality has varied in your particularneighborhood or local community. As the regional maps indicate, monitors tend to be located ar apart. What can begleaned rom these data are trends and indications o better or worse years. What can easily be seen is that over thelast six years there has been a dramatic improvement in ozone levels across North Carolina. Air quality, at least withrespect to ozone, has been getting better, not worse. Also note that we are more than two-thirds o the way through the 2009 ozone season, which runs rom April 1through October. I current trends continue, 2009 could turn out to have the ewest number o high ozone days o anyyear on record. As o September 1, the entire state o North Carolina had reported only nine high ozone days registeredon ve dierent monitors over our days. This means that 36 o the 41 monitors across the state have not registered asingle exceedance as o this date.
Dr. Roy Cordato is vice president or research and resident scholar at the
John Locke Foundation.
No nd Rrn
All data in this paper were obtained rom the North Carolina Division o Air Quality web site,
The maps showing monitor locations can be ound at
For more inormation on this topic, see Joel Schwartz, “Where the Bodies Are Buried: How experts or N.C.’s Attorney General misleadthe public about TVA air pollution risks” John Locke Foundation
, June 2008,
and Joel Schwartz, “The Health Eects o Air Pollution: Separating Science and Propaganda,” John LockeFoundation
, May 2006,