A map of northern Georgia shows elevated levels of ground-level ozone in Atlanta. (Courtesy UNCG.edu)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is taking final action to approve the state of Georgia’s request to redesignate the Atlanta area to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard. This action is based on air quality monitoring data for the three-year period of 2008, 2009 and 2010 that meets the standard. The area continues to attain this standard.

“This is a great accomplishment for the Atlanta area, a product of strong collaboration among government, the business community, environmental organizations and ordinary citizens.” said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Stan Meiburg. “Together with our partners at the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, we look forward to continued progress in improving Atlanta’s air quality.”

The Atlanta area has made significant progress in improving air quality. This progress is a result of hard work and great cooperation among local, state and federal agencies, private partners and the over four million Georgians who live and work in the Atlanta area. The Atlanta area impacted by this proposed action includes the following 20 counties: Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton.

For more information on the Atlanta area proposed 1997 8-hour ozone redesignation, visit docket number EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0986 at regulations.gov.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.