View Full Version : Smog rule tightened; 345 counties fail

03-12-2008, 09:00 PM
WASHINGTON - The air in hundreds of U.S. counties is simply too dirty to breathe, the government said Wednesday, ordering a multibillion-dollar expansion of efforts to clean up smog in cities and towns nationwide.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it was tightening the amount of ozone, commonly known as smog, that will be allowed in the air. But the lower standard still falls short of what most health experts say is needed to significantly reduce heart and asthma attacks from breathing smog-clogged air.

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson called the new smog requirements "the most stringent standards ever," and he said they will require 345 counties out of more than 700 that are monitored to make air quality improvements because they now have dirtier air than is healthy.

Johnson said that state and local officials have considerable time to meet the new requirements as much as 20 years for some that have the most serious pollution problems. EPA estimates that by 2020 the number of counties failing to meet the new health standard will drop to about 28.


03-15-2008, 11:27 AM
Three environmental groups say the pollution of Canada's air, water and land has increased by more than 20% since 1995. Total releases of chemicals of concern increased by more than 36 million kilograms (kg) from 177,009,091 kg in 1995 to 213,414,272 kg in 2001. This increase was recorded for a group of 163 "core chemicals" that have been monitored by Environment Canada each year since 1995 through the National Pollutant Release Inventory.

"The overall amount of pollution is going up," says Paul Muldoon, executive director of the Canadian Environmental Law Association, one of the groups that issued the figures on June 19. "That means the regulatory system is failing us."