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U.S. EPA finalizes rule to bring cleaner air to Imperial Valley: Imperial County, Air Resources Board must have plan by December 31, 2008

Release Date: 12/04/2007
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute 213-244-1815

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today ordered Imperial Valley, Calif., to submit an air quality plan detailing how it intends to reduce particulate matter, having exceeded national particulate matter standards for almost 10 years.


    The EPA will work with the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District and the Air Resources Board to develop a State Implementation Plan revision no later than December 31, 2008.

    "Imperial Valley continues to be challenged by complex air quality problems," said Deborah Jordan, the Director of the Air Division for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. "Today's rule will provide a solid foundation on which the air district and state can build an effective clean air plan."

    In Imperial Valley, elevated particulate matter levels can result from many sources, including: transport of pollution from Mexico; unpaved roads; waste burning; development; and agriculture.

    Scientific studies have linked breathing particulate matter to significant health problems, including asthma, respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and premature death. Particulate matter is also associated with increased hospital and emergency room visits for people with heart and lung disease, school and work absences, and reduced visibility.

    Imperial Valley is located in the Southeastern portion of California and borders Mexicali, Mexico. While there are higher concentrations of particulate matter closer to the U.S.-Mexico border, particulate matter violations occur at monitoring locations to the north as well.

    The EPA expects the rule to be published within the next two weeks. More information will be available on the Web at: http://www.epa.gov/region09/air/imperial/

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