- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The rolling announcements began Tuesday in the Midwest, as EPA Region 5 issued a list of 76 counties that it plans to name as not meeting the new PM2.5 24-hour standard.
Five of Region 5's six states have counties on the list. They are: Illinois with 14 counties, Indiana with 19 counties, Michigan with 9 counties, Ohio with 28 counties and Wisconsin with 6 counties. Minnesota has no counties on the list. Nationwide, the agency intends to name 215 counties in 25 states as not meeting the new standard. The names of the counties and additional information are at www.epa.gov/pmdesignations.
EPA Regional Administrator Lynn Buhl sent letters to the governors of the six regional states notifying them of the agency's designation plans.
"Work to meet the new standard has already begun," Buhl said. "EPA has taken steps to reduce fine particle pollution across the country, in particular the National Clean Diesel Campaign. We expect this program, which promotes the use of cleaner diesel technology, fuels and improved vehicle operation among our state, local, non-profit and private sector partners, to reduce emissions from highway, non-road and stationary engines. EPA Region 5 is participating in the national campaign through its Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative."
The EPA is seeking comments from states on the list of counties that it plans to designate as having or contributing to this air quality problem. The agency said it also plans to open a 30-day public comment period on its intended designations. It intends to make final designation decisions by Dec. 18. Information on how to make comments on the designations will be published in the Federal Register.