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EPA Agrees with Governor's New Air Quality Designation for New Mexico

Release Date: 12/4/2003
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its agreement with Gov. Bill Richardson's recommendation to designate the entire state of New Mexico in attainment with the new, more stringent 8-hour air quality standard for ground-level ozone.  EPA is scheduled to issue final designation decisions by April 15, 2004. EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said,

      "I am pleased that the entire state is in attainment of the 8-hour ozone standard, as well as the 1-hour ozone standard.  I'd like to specifically acknowledge the voluntary efforts in New Mexico to improve air quality, especially the early air quality planning efforts in the Farmington/San Juan County area."

      The process of designating attainment areas plays an important role in letting the public know whether air quality in a given area is healthy.  The new standard is based on 8-hour averages of ozone levels, which reflects a more realistic measure of people's exposure and is more protective of public health than the 1-hour standard.

      EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt said, "Our goal is clean, safe air for every American to breathe.  We are developing a suite of clean air controls that will help the states and tribes meet these important new health standards."

      More information about ground-level ozone is available on the Internet at  More information about the proposal, including a copy of EPA's letter to the governor, is available at