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EPA Acts on Baton Rouge Area Air Quality Plans
Release Date: 7/26/2002
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.
Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke announced actions regarding the Baton Rouge area's plan to achieve clean air by 2005. EPA is proposing approval of Louisiana's Attainment Plan and Transport Demonstration State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Governor of Louisiana in December 2001.
The action proposes to extend the deadline for the Baton Rouge area to attain clean air standards to Nov. 15, 2005. The action also proposes to withdraw EPA's June 24, 2002, rulemaking determining nonattainment and reclassification based on a demonstration that air pollution is transported to the area from southeast Texas. This action applies to Ascension, East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, and West Baton Rouge Parishes.
A reclassification of the area's Clean Air Act's ozone nonattainment status to "severe" would require the Baton Rouge area to implement more stringent air pollution controls. EPA's action, if finalized, would allow the Baton Rouge area to retain its current classification as a "serious" nonattainment area.
The proposed plan approval will allow the Baton Rouge area to move forward with implementation of its revised clean air plans. The extension allows time for air pollution reduction measures in Louisiana and the southeast Texas area to work. Ozone and ozone-forming compounds often drift with the prevailing winds from that region to the Baton Rouge area, impacting its air quality.
The proposed notice will have a 30-day comment period from the date of publication in the Federal Register. If comments are received, EPA will evaluate and respond to them before taking final action. EPA continues to work on completing separate rulemaking actions on other elements of the transport SIP and attainment demonstration SIP.
Information on ozone is available on EPA's web site at https://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/ozone/s_o3_plain.html. More information on the Baton Rouge area's SIP is available on the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's web page at http://www.deq.state.la.us/evaluation/ozone/.