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Las Vegas area air quality plan approved

Release Date: 06/21/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

(06/21/06) SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today approved a revised carbon monoxide plan for the Las Vegas Valley area of Clark County.

    The county has not exceeded the carbon monoxide standard since 1998.

Las Vegas has successfully implemented carbon monoxide control measures that include Nevada's motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program, and Clark County's cleaner burning gasoline program. The plan also includes motor vehicle emission budgets used by the local transportation agency to ensure future transportation activities are consistent with air quality goals.

“Clark County has 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 than 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.”

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

   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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