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All of Oklahoma Should Meet New Ozone Air Quality Standard

Release Date: 12/4/2003
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its intent to designate the entire state of Oklahoma as in attainment with the new 8-hour air quality standard for ground-level ozone.  In July 2003, Gov. Brad Henry submitted a recommendation to designate the Tulsa area as "unclassifiable" for attainment with the new, more stringent 8-hour ozone standard.  Based on the newest scientific data, EPA and the state agree that the Tulsa area is in attainment.  EPA is scheduled to issue final designation decisions by April 15, 2004.

      EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said, "Clearly communities in Oklahoma successfully demonstrate our belief that neighborhood solutions are best in achieving our national goals for clean air.  I'd like to specifically acknowledge the voluntary efforts and early air quality planning efforts in Oklahoma City and Tulsa to achieve the new air quality standard for ozone."  

      The process of designating attainment areas plays an important role in letting the public know whether air quality in a given area is healthy.  The new standard is based on 8-hour averages of ozone levels, which reflects a more realistic measure of people's exposure and is more protective of public health than the 1-hour standard.

      EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt said, "Our goal is clean, safe air for every American to breathe.  We are developing a suite of clean air controls that will help the states and tribes meet these important new health standards."

      More information about ground-level ozone is available on the Internet at More information about the proposal, including a copy of EPA's letter to the governor, is available at