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EPA: Evansville area meets ozone standard
Release Date: 8/30/2005
CONTACT: EPA: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254
IDEM: Rob Elstro, (317) 232-8499
For Immediate Release
CHICAGO (Aug. 30, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today that the Evansville, Ind., area is meeting the health-based eight-hour air standard for ozone (smog) and proposed to approve a request by Indiana to redesignate the area to attainment of the national air quality standard.
EPA's proposed action is based on three years of complete, quality-assured, outdoor air monitoring data for 2002, 2003 and 2004. Available data for 2005 show that the Evansville area continues to attain the eight-hour ozone standard.
The Evansville ozone nonattainment area consists of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. It is the first area in Indiana to be proposed for redesignation for the eight-hour ozone standard.
EPA also proposed to approve a state plan to maintain the eight-hour health-based ozone standard for at least the next 10 years and to approve motor vehicle emissions budgets for the Evansville area.
"We congratulate Evansville on achieving this significant health-base air quality standard," said EPA Region 5 Administrator Thomas V. Skinner. "Following the state's air quality maintenance plan should ensure cleaner air in the future."
"The great news for Warrick and Vanderburgh counties is that regional controls and the efforts of area businesses and residents to minimize emissions are working to improve air quality," said Thomas W. Easterly, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
EPA's action will soon be officially proposed in the Federal Register. The public will have 30 days to comment on the proposed action after it is published. Comments may be entered at www.regulations.gov. Refer to docket ID R05-OAR-2005-IN-0006, or enter this docket ID as a keyword.
Ground-level ozone is commonly referred to as smog. Smog is formed when a mixture of pollutants react on warm, sunny days. The pollutants are released from cars, factories and a wide variety of other sources. Smog can cause respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain. People with asthma, children and the elderly are especially at risk. However, these health effects are of concern to everyone.
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