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14 Communities Reduce Smog Ahead of Schedule

Release Date: 08/17/2005
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Contact: John Millett, 202-564-4355 /

(8/17/05) Fourteen communities across the United States are ahead of schedule in the effort to reduce ground-level ozone, or smog. Because of the progress these areas have made under EPA's Early Action Compacts program, the agency is taking final action to defer certain ozone pollution requirements 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 earlier than required by the Clean Air Act. Early Action Compacts provide a strong incentive for state and local governments, civic leaders and business interests to develop innovative, cost-effective strategies for improving ozone air quality in ways that are tailored to individual communities. There are 29 Early Action Compact areas in the country. Fifteen of these communities already meet the 8-hour ozone standard, but chose to join the compact to ensure that they stay in attainment and because they wish to take voluntary steps to protect the health and quality of life in their communities.

Today's action defers the effective date for nonattainment designations for the 14 communities that are in non-attainment but are ahead of schedule to meet the standard. This is the second deferral for these areas. If they meet the 8-hour standard by Dec. 31, 2007, they will be designated as in attainment. The areas are: Frederick County/Winchester, Va.; Roanoke, Va.; Washington County/Hagerstown, Md.; Berkeley & Jefferson Counties, W.Va.; Hickory/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; and Denver-Boulder-Greeley-Ft. Collins-Love area, Colo.

For more information about the final rule and the Early Action Compact Program, visit: