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Cincinnati's Air Quality Upgraded

Release Date: 04/29/2010
Contact Information: Heidi Griesmer, Ohio EPA, 614- 644-2160 Phillipa Cannon, U.S. EPA, 312-353-6218

FOR RELEASE: April 29, 2010

U.S. EPA has officially recognized that air quality in the Cincinnati-Hamilton area meets the 1997 federal ozone standard. In Ohio, the area includes Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren counties. The entire state of Ohio is now meeting the 1997 federal ozone standard.

"Today we celebrate that the entire state of Ohio, for the first time, is meeting the 1997 ozone standard," said Ohio EPA Director Chris Korleski. "Air quality in the Cincinnati area and throughout the state has improved, but our work is not done. We all need to continue our efforts to meet the newer more stringent ozone standard now in place."

"EPA congratulates Ohio on reaching statewide attainment of the health-based ozone standard. Ohio has achieved this milestone through sound air quality planning and effective pollution control programs. With this accomplishment, Ohio has helped to ensure that its residents are breathing cleaner air," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur.

Air quality data from 2007-2009 showed that the Cincinnati-Hamilton area is meeting the 1997 national ozone standard. When asking for redesignation, Ohio was required to demonstrate that the metropolitan area will be able to maintain compliance with the ozone standard for 10 years. Current air pollution controls to limit ozone-causing emissions will enable the area to maintain the air quality.

Ground-level ozone 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. Ozone can cause respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain.

While the area now meets the ozone standard U.S. EPA finalized in 1997, the area does not comply with the proposed new (and more stringent) ozone standard for which U.S. EPA will be designating nonattainment areas in 2011.

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