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EPA redesignates 16 Michigan counties to attainment of the smog standard


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has approved a request by the state of Michigan to redesignate 16 counties to attainment of the national health-based eight-hour outdoor air quality standard for ozone (smog).

The counties are Kent and Ottawa in the Grand Rapids area; Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren in the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek area; Clinton, Eaton and Ingham in the East Lansing area; Genesee and Lapeer in the Flint area; Muskegon in the Muskegon area; Berrien in the Benton Harbor area; and Benzie, Cass, Huron and Mason counties.

EPA said complete, quality-assured, outdoor air monitoring data for the 2002-2006 ozone seasons shows that the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Lansing-East Lansing, Benzie, Huron and Mason county areas are meeting the standard. Outdoor air monitoring data for the 2003-2006 ozone seasons shows that the Flint, Muskegon, Benton Harbor and Cass County areas are meeting the standard.

The Agency also approved the state’s plans to continue to meet the eight-hour health-based ozone standard through 2018 and approved motor vehicle emissions budgets for the areas.

EPA’s action will soon be published in the Federal Register. The redesignation becomes effective upon publication. For additional information, contact Kathleen D’Agostino at 312-886-1767.

Ground-level ozone is commonly referred to as smog. Smog is formed when a mixture of pollutants react on warm, sunny days. The pollutants are released from cars, factories and a wide variety of other sources. Smog can cause respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain.


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