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EPA finds Las Vegas area complies with federal carbon monoxide standard

Release Date: 5/24/2005
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 947-4307

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the Las Vegas Valley area of Clark County is in compliance with the national 8-hour carbon monoxide standard.

    The EPA finalized its compliance decision on May 20. There have been no exceedances of the carbon monoxide standard since 1998.

    The improvement in air quality came about because of carbon monoxide control measures that have been successfully implemented in Las Vegas. These control measures include Nevada's motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program and Clark County's cleaner burning gasoline program.

     Las Vegas has also implemented other control measures such as an alternative fuel program for government fleets and a voluntary Rideshare program.

    "State and local agencies have implemented a number of innovative programs to reduce carbon monoxide emissions, and we commend those efforts," said Deborah Jordan, the EPA's Air Division Director in the Pacific Southwest region.  "This translates into cleaner air for the more that one million residents of the Las Vegas area, and we will continue to work with the state and local agencies to improve local air quality."

   Carbon monoxide is a pollutant generated primarily by mobile sources, cars and trucks.  Major sources of combustion, like power plants, can also generate carbon monoxide.

    Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream and reduces oxygen delivery to the body's organs and tissues.  Exposure to elevated levels of carbon monoxide may cause loss of visual perception and manual dexterity, as well as fatigue, chest pains and breathing difficulties.

     Extreme exposures can cause loss of consciousness and even death.  Young children, senior citizens, pregnant women, people with heart disease and people with asthma or other lung problems are especially susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide pollution.

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