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U.S. EPA data review shows air is getting cleaner in Las Vegas, Nevada

Release Date: 1/10/2005
Contact Information: Laura Gentile, 415/947-4227 (

SAN FRANCISCO - Based on a review of data collected over the past five years, today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed that Las Vegas, Nev. and the surrounding area meets the federal public health air quality standards for carbon monoxide.

Over the past five years, the Las Vegas Valley, which includes the Clark County cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson, has met the EPA's national public health standards for carbon monoxide, measured over an eight-hour and one-hour period.

"The hard work by Nevada and Clark County in achieving the federal public health standards means cleaner air for the Las Vegas Valley," said Deborah Jordan, director of the air division for the EPA's Pacific Southwest office. "The County has made great strides in reducing carbon monoxide and we will all continue to work together to help reduce other pollutants such as particulate matter."

"This is good news for us, and an important step along the way toward our goal of achieving cleaner air for the Valley" said Christine Robinson, director of Clark County's Department of Air Quality and Environmental Management. "Our efforts to deal with this pollutant are working, and amount to a real success story for everyone who lives in Clark County."

The EPA requires that the county test the air for carbon monoxide continuously -- 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The county analyzes carbon monoxide air samples collected at eight monitoring stations throughout the area.

The county's air quality improvements can be attributed to better controls on motor vehicle emissions, cleaner burning fuels, and an enhanced vehicle inspection and maintenance program.

Carbon monoxide is produced when fuel is burned inefficiently. Exposure to elevated levels of carbon monoxide can cause loss of depth perception and manual dexterity as well as fatigue, chest pains and breathing difficulties. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with asthma are especially susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide pollution.

The public is invited to comment on the EPA's proposal during the 30-day comment period, which will be published in the Federal Register by the middle of January. The proposal has been posted to the EPA?s website at The EPA will consider all comments received before finalizing the proposal.