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EPA Approves Ozone Non-Attainment Reclassification Petition for Greensboro (TRIAD) Area

Release Date: 09/16/2004
Contact Information: Carl Terry, (404) 562-8327,
Earlier this summer, North Carolina petitioned EPA for reclassification (from moderate to marginal) of the Greensboro-Winston-Salem, High Point (TRIAD) ozone nonattainment area.

"Because the Greensboro area has shown it will achieve clean air standards earlier than required, I have approved their request and classified the area as a marginal ozone nonattainment area under the new, more protective national air quality standard for ground-level ozone,” said EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt.  “This action recognizes the hard work of local and state leaders to employ innovative local emissions control programs to ensure our clean air milestones are met.”  

State, local and county leaders in the Triad area have been participating in a collaborative effort since 2002 to identify and commit to local controls to achieve attainment of the 8-hr ozone standard by 2007 through early implementation of controls in EPA’s Early Action Compact (EAC) program.  The EAC is a cooperative effort between all stakeholders in an area to obtain cleaner air sooner than required by the Clean Air Act.

The Greensboro area has demonstrated it will achieve clean air standards three (3) years earlier than required.  This attainment is expected because of a combination of national and local measures that will be implemented. Examples include:

    • conversion to bio-diesel for all on/off road vehicles in the City of Greensboro
    • non-idling policy and bus retrofit for all Guilford County school buses
    • commitment to build park and ride lots
    • open burning ban on code red/orange days
    • inspection and maintenance program in triad counties ( implementation between July 2002 and 2005)
The Greensboro area was designated nonattainment for the 8-hour ozone standard on April 15, 2004 and classified “moderate”.  Moderate areas must attain national air quality standards no later than June 2010 and “marginal” areas must attain by June 2007. This reclassification confirms that we expect the area to attain  prior to its new marginal attainment date. Additional information on ozone designations is available at