Atlanta area attains ozone standard

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ATLANTA —The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking final action to approve the state of Georgia’s request to redesignate the Atlanta area to attainment of the 1997 eight-hour ozone standard.

This action is based on air quality data from the three-year period of 2008, 2009 and 2010 that meets the standard.

“This is a great accomplishment for the Atlanta area, a product of strong collaboration among government, the business community, environmental organizations and ordinary citizens,” said Stan Meiburg, acting EPA regional administrator. “Together with our partners at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, we look forward to continued progress in improving Atlanta’s air quality.”

The Atlanta area impacted by this proposed action includes the following 20 counties: Forsyth, Fulton, Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton.

Ground-level ozone is created by emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust and chemical solvents.

Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation and congestion.

For more on the Atlanta-area proposed redesignation, visit docket number EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0986 at www.regulations.gov.