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EPA: Cincinnati area meets one-hour smog standard
Release Date: 6/13/2005
CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254
For Immediate Release
CHICAGO (June 13, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has concluded that the Cincinnati area is meeting the health-based, one-hour outdoor air quality standard for ozone (smog). The action is effective tomorrow, June 14.
"This is an important first step for Cincinnati in its goal to achieve clean air, but there's still a lot of work to do," said Regional Air and Radiation Division Director Steve Rothblatt.
Rothblatt said Cincinnati still does not meet the more stringent eight-hour ozone and the fine particle standards. He said EPA is working with the state to develop a plan to achieve these health-based standards.
In April 2004, EPA designated the area as not meeting the eight-hour ozone standard. The standard is 0.08 parts per million averaged over eight hours. The one-hour standard is 0.12 parts per million, measured in hourly readings.
EPA issued the eight-hour ozone standard in July 1997, based on information showing the one-hour standard was inadequate for protecting public health.
Last December, EPA designated the Cincinnati area as not meeting the new fine particle standard. The standard is designed to protect the public from exposure to tiny particles that are 2.5 microns or smaller, or about 1/30th the size of a human hair.
The action includes approval of Ohio's plan for maintaining the one-hour standard in the Cincinnati area through 2015. The maintenance plan becomes a part of the overall Ohio plan for implementing the Clean Air Act in the state.
EPA is not taking action at this time on termination of the vehicle inspection and maintenance programs in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas, but may consider such action in future rulemaking.
The designation affects the Ohio counties of Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren. The notice will be published soon in the Federal Register, and at www.epa.gov/region5/air/.
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