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EPA: Allegan County in Michigan now meets smog standards

Release Date: 09/27/2010
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218, cannon.phillippa@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 10-OPA114

CHICAGO (Sept. 27, 2010) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 announced today final approval of a request from the state of Michigan to redesignate Allegan County to attainment of the 1997 national health-based eight-hour outdoor standard for ozone (smog). The entire state of Michigan now meets the 1997 federal health-based standard for ozone.

EPA said three years of complete, quality-assured, outdoor air monitoring data for 2007, 2008 and 2009 show that the area meets the standard. Preliminary 2010 data show that the area continues to meet the standard.

EPA is also approving Michigan's plan to continue to meet the eight-hour health-based ozone standard in the area through 2021. This plan will provide for corrective actions should the area violate the ozone standard after the area is redesignated to attainment.

The action was published in the Federal Register on Friday, Sept. 24, and is effective upon 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, and may lead to an increased number of hospital visits for those suffering from respiratory diseases such as asthma.

More information about federal ozone standards is available at: http://www.epa.gov/reg5oair/naaqs/o3naaqs.html

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