Baton Rouge: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that the Baton Rouge area is currently attaining the 2008 8-hour ozone standard. The determination is based on a recent review of air quality data from 2011-2013. The State has decreased ground-level ozone in Baton Rouge which improved air quality and human health for more than 800,000 residents.
"This is the culmination of years of hard work by our dedicated staff and public and industry partners," DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch said. "We’re proud of this achievement and will continue our efforts to ensure that all of Louisiana enjoys clean, healthy air."
"We commend local and state officials, as well as the residents of the Baton Rouge area, who have been working collaboratively with us to reach this milestone," said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. "This accomplishment signifies the continuing commitment to protect people and the environment."
The Baton Rouge five-parish area was designated by EPA as non-attainment with the 2008 8-hour ozone standard. Today's Clean Data Determination provides notice to the public that the nonattainment area’s air quality meets the 2008 ozone standard.
Preliminary air quality data for 2014 continues to show that the area meets the 2008 8-hour standard. Louisiana is now working on a plan to show how the five parish area can maintain compliance with the ozone standard for the next 10 years. Once this plan is submitted and approved, the area can be formally redesignated to attainment.
Ground-level ozone is formed when a mixture of pollutants react on warm, sunny days. The pollutants are released from cars, factories and a wide variety of other sources. Ozone can cause respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest pain.
The rule will be effective 30 days from the date published in Federal Register.