EPA approves Arkansas' clean-air plan for ozone
DALLAS - (Feb. 22, 2021) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved the state of Arkansas' plan for administering programs related to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. Arkansas' state implementation plan (SIP) demonstrates that it meets the Clean Air Act infrastructure requirements for the 2015 ozone NAAQS.
"We are pleased to continue our work with Arkansas to address provisions of the Clean Air Act," said EPA Acting Administrator David Gray. "This plan shows the state's continued commitment to help citizens breathe cleaner air."
"Arkansas is pleased to obtain this final approval. We are proud of Arkansans efforts to protect air quality and thankful to realize the benefits to our health, environment, and economy." Becky W. Keogh, Arkansas Department of Energy & Environment Secretary. "These efforts allow us to maintain our enviable standing in achieving all national air quality standards statewide."
In June 2020, EPA proposed to approve the state's infrastructure SIP plan. EPA also held a 30-day public comment period. This action approves regulatory language associated with the Ark. regulations.
This type of SIP is commonly referred to as an infrastructure SIP because it addresses the basic requirements of state air quality management programs, such as air quality monitoring and enforcement. By meeting EPA's guidelines for these programs, states help protect public health through air quality management. States are required to submit a SIP within three years after a new or revised NAAQS to ensure the state meets its responsibilities under the federal Clean Air Act.
Ground level ozone is not emitted directly into the air but is formed when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the presence of sunlight. Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOCs. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It can worsen bronchitis, emphysema and asthma. Ground level ozone also can reduce lung function and inflame the linings of the lungs. Children are at increased risk from exposure to ozone because their lungs are still developing.
For more information about NAAQS: https://www.epa.gov/naaqs
For information about air quality in your area: https://www.airnow.gov
For information about air quality trends: https://www.epa.gov/air-trends
For more about EPA's work in Arkansas: https://www.epa.gov/ar
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