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EPA redesignates two Indiana counties to attainment of smog standard


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today it has approved a request by the state of Indiana to redesignate Clark and Floyd counties, part of the Louisville, Ky., metropolitan area, to attainment of the national health-based eight-hour outdoor air quality standard for ozone (smog).

EPA said complete, quality-assured outdoor air monitoring data from the counties for 2003, 2004 and 2005 meet the standard, and quality assured data for 2006 show the counties continue to meet the standard.

“Residents in these counties are enjoying healthier air because of the work Indiana has done to improve air quality,” said EPA Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. “Better air quality also means an improved business climate in the counties.”

“We’ve pressed hard for this decision, which is based on sound science and will be very important to bringing new jobs to these counties,” said Governor Mitch Daniels. “The restrictions served their purpose, but now that air quality is healthier, fairness requires that they be lifted in the interest of economic growth and progress.”

The Agency also proposed to approve the state plan to maintain the eight-hour health-based ozone standard through 2020 and to approve motor vehicle emissions budgets included in the plan.

EPA’s action will soon be published in the Federal Register. The redesignation becomes effective upon publication.

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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