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Most of Arkansas Should Meet New Ozone Air Quality Standard

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 intent to designate the entire state of Arkansas, with the single exception of Crittenden County, as in attainment with the new, more stringent 8-hour air quality standard for ozone.  In July 2003, Gov. Mike Huckabee submitted a recommendation to designate Crittenden County and the Little Rock area as areas that may need to further reduce emissions to meet the national air quality standard for ozone.  Based on the newest scientific data, EPA and the state agree that the Little Rock area is meeting the new standard for ozone. EPA is scheduled to make final designation decisions by April 15, 2004.

      EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said, "I'd like to specifically acknowledge the voluntary efforts in Arkansas to improve air quality.  Clearly Little Rock has successfully proven our belief that neighborhood solutions are best in achieving our nation's clean air goals."

      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