The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that nine areas in California have met the 1997 national health-based air quality standard for smog, also known as ground-level ozone, within their regulatory deadlines. These areas are: Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Mariposa, Tuolumne, and Ventura counties, as well as portions of Kern, Nevada.
“Reducing smog is a major step forward in meeting Clean Air Act goals,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Residents can breathe a little easier knowing that the air is cleaner in these counties.”
EPA’s determinations are based on air quality data collected from state and local monitors that detect air pollutants throughout the state.
Notice of this attainment will be published in the Federal Register in the next few weeks and will be open for public comment. All comments will be addressed in a public document, but, if no comments are received, the action will become final 30 days from the date of publication.
While the Federal Register notice does not address the most recent 2008 national ozone standard, Amador, Sutter, and Tuolumne counties have attained that standard as well.
For more information on ground-level ozone and the national standards, visit: http://www.epa.gov/airquality/ozonepollution/.
For more information on the Clean Air Act, visit: http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/. ■