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EPA: Ohio county meets ozone standard

Release Date: 12/27/2006
Contact Information: Karen Thompson (312) 353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 06-OPA241

(CHICAGO - Dec. 27, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today that the Steubenville-Weirton metropolitan area is meeting the health-based eight-hour outdoor air quality standard for ozone (smog) and proposed to approve a request by Ohio to redesignate the county to attainment of the national ambient air quality standard.

EPA proposed to redesignate Jefferson County, Ohio in the Steubenville-Weirton area. Region 3 had previously proposed redesignation of the West Virginia portion of the Steubenville-Weirton area (Brooke and Hancock 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 the county continues 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.

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 http://www.regulation.gov. Refer to docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-2006-0891 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 Steve Marquardt at (312) 353-3214.

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.

8-Hour Ground-level Ozone Designations: http://www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations/index.htm

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