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EPA redesignates 5 Ohio counties to attainment of smog standard

Release Date: 05/02/2007
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 07-OPA071

CHICAGO (May 2, 2007) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has approved a request by the state of Ohio to redesignate five counties to attainment of the national health-based eight-hour outdoor air quality standard for ozone (smog).

The counties are Washington in the Parkersburg-Marietta area, Stark in the Canton-Massilon area, Allen in the Lima area, Belmont in the Wheeling, W.Va., area and Jefferson in the Steubenville-Weirton, W.Va., area.

EPA said complete, quality-assured, outdoor air monitoring data for 2003, 2004 and 2005 meets the standard, and quality-assured data for 2006 shows the counties continue to meet the standard.

"Ohio did a great job in reducing smog in these counties," said EPA Regional Administrator Mary Gade. "The result is both healthier air and an improved business climate for the residents of the counties."

The Agency also approved the state plan to continue to meet the eight-hour health-based ozone standard through 2018 and to approve motor vehicle emissions budgets.

EPA's action will soon be published in the Federal Register. The redesignation becomes effective 30 days after publication.

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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