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1. EPA IMPROVES TRANSPORTATION REGULATION, 2. EPA DETAILS WEST NILE VIRUS RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO PUBLIC

Release Date: 08/23/2002
Contact Information:



Press Advisory

Following are some Agency developments which may interest you. If you need
more information on any of these subjects, call the appropriate contact.


FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2002
EPA IMPROVES TRANSPORTATION REGULATION

Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov


EPA is changing transportation regulations to ease the process that ensures federally supported highway and transit project activities are consistent with or conform to a state’s air quality implementation plan. Under the Clean Air Act, transportation activities cannot cause new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the national ambient air quality standards. The first revision to the conformity rule incorporates an October 2000 Clean Air Act amendment that provides a one-year grace period before conformity is required in areas that are designated non-attainment for a given air quality standard for the first time. The grace period will ease implementation of conformity in areas that are newly designated under EPA’s ozone and particulate matter air quality standards issued in 1997. The one-year grace period begins on the effective date of an area’s designation as non-attainment. The second change will help areas implement conformity in a practicable manner consistent with a March 1999 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court. As a result of the Court’s decision, the amount of time for state and local governments to complete the conformity process when a new air quality plan was submitted had, in some instances, been significantly shortened. The final rule addresses this indirect impact of the court decision by ensuring that state and local governments have sufficient time to meet the conformity requirement for newly submitted air quality plans, as was the case prior to the 1999 court ruling. The rule and supporting documents are available at www.epa.gov/otaq/transp/traqconf.htm (click on “conformity”).
EPA DETAILS WEST NILE VIRUS RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO PUBLIC

David Deegan 564-7839/deegan.dave@epa.gov

With the current outbreak and renewed interest in the West Nile Virus, there is a valuable source of information available on this and pesticide related topics: the National Pesticide Information Center. This resource provides objective, science-based information about pesticides – including mosquito repellents and insecticides that are used in controlling mosquitoes. NPIC, which is funded in part by EPA, also provides information on federal, state, and local mosquito control programs. Additionally, its web site offers a West Nile Virus Resource Guide with information on the Virus; contacts at local, state and federal agencies; and maps and statistics. Visit the National Pesticide Information Center on the Web at http://npic.orst.edu/ or call toll-free at 1-800-858-7378. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a comprehensive web site regarding West Nile Virus which provides many resources including preventive measures to follow and how to contact local and state authorities at: http://www.cdc.gov/ . CDC also offers a fact sheet on the West Nile Virus in Spanish, available at: http://www.cdc.gov/spanish/ . As a reminder, whenever a person uses a product such as insect repellents or insecticides, it is important to carefully read and follow the manufacturer's DIRECTIONS FOR USE, as printed on the product label. Persons who health-related questions or concerns about insect repellents or insecticide products used to control mosquitoes in and around the home should contact NPIC. For other information about pesticides used to control mosquitoes, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's website at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/skeeters.htm .


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