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EPA: 11 Michigan counties meet ozone standard

Release Date: 11/27/2006
Contact Information: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

CHICAGO (Nov. 27, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today that 11 Michigan counties are meeting the health-based eight-hour outdoor air standard for ozone (smog) and proposed to approve a request by Michigan to redesignate the counties to attainment of the national ambient air quality standard.

EPA proposed to redesignate Kent and Ottawa counties in the Grand Rapids area; Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties in the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek area; Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties in the East Lansing area; and Benzie, Huron and Mason counties.

EPA's proposed action is based on three years of complete, quality-assured, outdoor air monitoring data for 2003, 2004 and 2005. Available data for 2006 show that these counties continue to attain 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 these counties.

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 No. EPA-R05-OAR-2006-0517 and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Comments may also be sent by e-mail to mooney.john@epa.gov, or faxed to (312) 886-5824. For additional information, contact Kathleen D'Agostino at (312) 886-1767.

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.

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