The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve the state of Arkansas’ request to designate Crittenden County, Ark., as attaining the federal 2008 ozone standard. Crittenden County lies within the tri-state greater Memphis area, and had been included in the area’s designation of nonattainment for the standard. The Memphis area as a whole has also been redesignated as attaining the standard.
“Arkansas has shown that Crittenden County’s air quality has improved and ozone levels are within the Clean Air Act’s protective levels,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “This is good news for everyone’s health, especially children, the elderly, and those with breathing problems.”
The federal Clean Air Act sets standards for ozone that protect people’s health and the environment. Under the standard set in 2008, the greater Memphis area in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri was classified as a marginal nonattainment area. Since then, Arkansas has met all requirements of the Clean Air Act to bring Crittenden County into attainment through reductions in vehicle and point-source emissions, and has shown how the area can maintain the improvements in air quality.
Ground-level ozone can trigger many health problems, especially for children, the elderly, and people with breathing problems such as asthma, and can also harm sensitive vegetation and ecosystems. Ozone is created by reactions between chemicals emitted from sources such as vehicle exhaust and industrial facilities in the presence of sunlight.
EPA’s proposal will be published in the Federal Registration seven to 10 days after signature. After publication, the proposal will be open for public comment for 30 days.
To view the federal register notice please visit: https://epa.gov/ar/air-plan-approval-and-designation-areas-ar-redesignation-crittenden-county-2008-8-hour-ozone