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State: Triangle, Fayetteville don't meet ozone standards

Posted March 12, 2009

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— State environmental regulators on Thursday recommended that the federal government designate 24 counties and parts of 17 others as not meeting the new federal air-quality standard for ozone.

The counties that don't meet the standards include Wake, Durham, Orange, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Franklin, Granville, Nash and Person, as well as parts of Chatham and Johnston counties.

“Air quality is improving in North Carolina, but we need to ensure that we meet the new stricter federal standard for ozone,” Dee Freeman, secretary of state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said in a statement. “We have identified those areas with the most serious ozone problems, and we will focus attention and develop plans for improving air quality in these non-attainment areas.”

Ozone, the main component in urban smog, is unhealthy to breathe and can damage trees and crops. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted a more stringent standard for ozone a year ago, lowering the allowable level from 0.08 to 0.075 parts per million measured over eight hours.

Non-attainment areas will be the focus of air-quality plans for controlling ozone, Freeman said, including measures to reduce emissions from cars, trucks, industries and power plants. The designations also give the EPA the authority to review proposed highway projects and long-range transportation plans.

The EPA is expected to make a final decision on the designations by March 12, 2010.


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  • nerdlywehunt Mar 12, 2009

    How about start by addressing all the cars stopped at red lights looking at empty intersections. Cary has spent millions to automate their lights and they are about the lamest in traffic flow!!!!! No more money, use the tools that we have bought but no one wants to efficiently manage!!!!!

  • acceptorchange Mar 12, 2009

    Seems to me that a lot of inspections stations are simply taking the money and not doing a proper inspection. I don't know how it works now with the emissions testing (seems it isn't being done), but before emissions testing a lot of the inspections stations would simply take your money and put an inspections sticker in the windshield. Maybe law officers need to carry a portable emissions tester and use it.

  • hollylama Mar 12, 2009

    Bcc...I like the way you responded to freddie's post without attacking his opinion but rather correcting his position. People should really take the time to research information but as a society we're so quick to believe what we're told.
    Fayetteville doesn't meet ozone standards because there's alot of suped up cars with missing catalytic converters.

  • bcc Mar 12, 2009

    You shouldn't use the term "environmental whackos" and question our air quality in the same post. The US uses more energy per capita than any other nation, by a long shot. Mostly coal and petro no less. European nations are far ahead of us on environmentally safe energy. Only China is as bad as we are regarding air quality and excessive energy consumption, but they are nowhere near where we are on a per capita energy consumption basis. The internet is your friend, do some searching and you'll see for yourself. Regarding the earth's rotation, the atmosphere rotates as well, we can't hide from our local and global emissions.

  • freddie cadetti 72 Mar 12, 2009

    Serious question, here. As the world turns (no pun intended), doesn't the air and thus the atmosphere change relatively? In other words, what keeps us from breathing China's, and for that matter, LA's air as the earth rotates? And if I am correct, then why are we the bad guys in all this, and the other developed nations not having their lives destroyed economically by environmental whackos?