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Louisville, Kentucky Area Attains Public Health Standard for Air Quality

Release Date: 07/17/2007
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – July 17, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has granted final approval of Kentucky’s redesignation request to redesignate the Kentucky portion of the Louisville nonattainment area to attainment for the 8-hour air standard for ozone. Additionally, EPA is approving a maintenance plan for the Kentucky portion of the Louisville area which demonstrates how the Commonwealth will maintain attainment of the ozone standard. This final rule was published on July 5, 2007, and is effective on August 6, 2007.

“This redesignation reflects the improved air quality in the Louisville area, which will help many people breathe easier,” said EPA Regional Administrator Jimmy Palmer.

The redesignation to attainment is based on certified air quality monitoring data for a three-year period (2003, 2004, and 2005), which indicates that the Louisville area has attained the 8-hour air standard for ozone. More current data indicates continued attainment. The Louisville area consists of Jefferson, Bullet, and Oldam counties in Kentucky and Clark and Floyd counties in Indiana. Region 5 is taking similar action for the Indiana counties.

Ground-level ozone is a primary component of smog. Ozone is formed when a mixture of air pollutants are baked in the hot summer sun. These pollutants are released from sources such as cars and factories. Ozone can cause a variety of respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain. These health effects are of concern to everyone, but asthmatics, children and the elderly are especially at risk.