An official website of the United States government.

News Releases from Region 04

EPA Approves Redesignation of Atlanta Area to Attainment for the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard

Contact Information: 
Dawn Harris-Young (
(404) 562-8421 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main)

ATLANTA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is taking final action to approve the state of Georgia’s request to redesignate the Atlanta Area to attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard. This action is based on air quality monitoring data for the three-year period of 2013, 2014, and 2015 that meets the standard. The area continues to attain this standard. On June 2, 2017, EPA took final action on the Atlanta Area.

For over 20 years, the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area has worked collaboratively with EPA and other stakeholders to develop strategies for achieving attainment standards for ozone.  The areas of Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding and Rockdale counties have reached a significant milestone by attaining the 2008 8-Hour Ozone Standard in the midst of significant population growth.

Ground level or "bad" ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight. Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOC. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ground level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Repeated exposure may permanently scar lung tissue.

For more information on the Atlanta area final 2008 8-hour ozone redesignation, visit docket number EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0583 at

Connect with EPA Region 4 on Facebook:

And on Twitter: @EPASoutheast