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EPA Proposes Clean Air Plan

May 15, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency issued a plan Wednesday for cutting ground-level ozone air pollution to meet Clinton-era smog standards.

The EPA's proposed rule lays out steps that polluted areas would be required to take to meet the 1997 standard for limiting ozone, a major component of smog, to 0.08 parts per million instead of 0.12 ppm.

The standard also required that the pollution be averaged over an eight-hour period instead of one hour to better reflect air quality.

The 368-page proposal outlines a number of possible ways to define whether a community is meeting the standard -- and what it should do if it fails to meet the standard.

The EPA is seeking public feedback, and it will designate which areas do not meet the standard by April 15.

The health standard was delayed for years because of suits. A federal appeals court sided with industry challenges and found EPA's new standard unconstitutional; that was reversed in February 2001 by a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the new standard.

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