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U.S. EPA proposes to approve Valley air plan

Release Date: 1/29/2004
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 947-4307

     SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to approve the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's 2003 PM-10 plan designed to reduce dust and particulate pollution in the Valley.
     The EPA's proposal will be open for a 30-day public comment period starting the day it is published in the federal register, in approximately 7 days.  
     "This plan is a step toward reducing pollution and improving Valley air quality," said Wayne Nastri, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region.  "The plan ensures everyone will contribute to the solution.  In particular the agriculture community stepped up, to help develop practices for decreasing on-field emissions."
     California submitted the plan to the EPA last year.  After receiving the EPA's comments the district agreed to work with the EPA to improve the plan ensuring it complied with all requirements.  After the district adopted several plan modifications the amended plan was sent to the agency for review.
     The San Joaquin Valley is one of only eight serious PM-10 areas considered seriously out of attainment with the federal PM-10 requirements in the country.  The Valley has the third highest average annual PM-10 concentrations nationwide, ranking only behind Phoenix, Ariz. and the greater Los Angeles area.
     Particulate matter can accumulate in the respiratory system, penetrate deeply into the lungs and can contribute to health effects such as asthma and decreased lung function.
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