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News Brief - EPA's latest development: Communities Reduce Smog Ahead of Schedule

Release Date: 06/02/2005
Contact Information:

Following is an Agency development which may interest you. If you need more information on this subject, call the
listed Press Officer.

Contact: John Millett, 202-564-4355 /

(06/02/05) Fourteen communities across the United States are ahead of schedule in the effort to reduce ground-level ozone, or smog. Because these communities have reached a specific milestone to clean the air sooner than required, EPA proposes to defer Clean Air Act requirements for these areas regarding ozone pollution until Dec. 31, 2006. As part of EPA's voluntary Early Action Compacts program, these communities committed to meeting EPA's more stringent 8-hour ozone standard by Dec. 31, 2007, one to two years sooner than required by the Clean Air Act. Early Action Compacts provide a strong incentive to State and local governments, civic leaders and business interests to work together to develop innovative, cost-effective strategies for improving ground-level ozone air quality in ways that are tailored to individual communities. Communities with Early Action Compacts are starting to reduce smog one to two years sooner than required by the Clean Air Act. There are a total of 29 Early Action Compact areas in the country. Fifteen of these communities are already meeting the 8-hour ozone standard, but chose to join the compact in order to take proactive steps toward smog reduction. The remaining fourteen areas are working toward meeting the standard sooner than the Clean Air Act requires and are the focus of this proposal:
      Frederick County/Winchester, Va.
          Roanoke, Va.
          Washington County/Hagerstown, Md.
          Berkeley & Jefferson Counties, W.Va.
          Hickory area, N.C.
          Greensboro area, N.C.
          Fayetteville, N.C.
          Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, S.C.
          Columbia area, S.C.
          Chattanooga area, Tenn.
          Nashville area, Tenn.
          Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol area, Tenn.
          San Antonio area, Texas
      Denver-Boulder-Greeley-Ft. Collins-Love area, Colo.

EPA will accept comment on this proposal for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. After reviewing all comments, the Agency anticipates issuing the final rule in September 2005. For more information about the proposed rule and the Early Action Compact Program, visit: