EPA Identifies U.S. Areas That Exceed Smog Limits

Long-Overdue Announcement Will Allow Implementation of Life-Saving Protections, Leaves Safeguards in Some Areas Unaddressed

May 1, 2018
Sharyn Stein, sstein@edf.org, (202) 572-3396

Washington, D.C. – May 1 2018) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today identified certain areas across the country that meet or exceed the nation’s health-based standards for ground-level ozone, more commonly known as smog. The long-overdue and still incomplete action comes in response to a court order requiring EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to begin implementing the life-saving standards for most areas by April 30th.
Officially called “final area designations,” the identifications are an important first step for communities that are trying to reduce their air pollution levels.
“Today’s action is important to ensure that Americans know about air pollution problems near their homes, and to help communities begin the process of cleaning up the air,” said U.S. District Court ordered the agency to move forward with the designations in response to a lawsuit filed by a broad coalition of states as well as EDF and other health and environmental groups.
In today’s announcement, EPA identified 51 areas in 22 states and two tribal areas that do not meet the 2015 Ozone Standards.
However, EPA declared some areas as meeting the standard even though they had previously determined that they did not. EPA has also not yet announced final area designations for other places. For instance, eight counties in the San Antonio, Texas area will not be designated until July. Yesterday EDF

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