Counties in Michigan and Ohio Attain EPA Clean Air Standards

Published September 1, 2009

Eight counties near Detroit, Michigan are now meeting federal clean air standards and will be taken off the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s noncompliance list for smog, EPA reports.

The agency announced on June 18 it had approved a request by the state of Michigan to redesignate Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties in the Detroit-Ann Arbor area as complying with the national eight-hour outdoor air quality standard for ozone (smog). EPA determined outdoor air monitoring data from the counties for 2006, 2007, and 2008 met clean air standards.

EPA also approved the State of Michigan’s plan to continue to meet the eight-hour ozone standard through 2020 and the state’s motor vehicle emission budgets included in the plan.

The eight counties’ attainment of federal clean air standards illustrates continually improving air quality across the United States. The day before announcing the eight counties’ compliance, EPA announced a proposed rulemaking to formally recognize the city of Cleveland, Ohio and eight Cleveland-area counties as achieving the national eight-hour outdoor air quality standard.

Counties that fail to meet EPA’s air quality standards must institute costly emissions reduction programs that can discourage businesses from locating in the region and chase out existing businesses.

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.