WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is ready to approve the state's request to re-designate 20 north Georgia counties, including Hall, as in compliance with 1997 air quality standards.
EPA says the proposal is based on air quality monitoring data for 2008-2010 that meets the standard and continues to meet it.
"Today, we commend local and state officials, who have been working collaboratively with us to reach this milestone," said EPA Regional Administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming. "We look forward to building on this progress, as we continue efforts to improve air quality and protect public health."
EPA says the 20 counties have made "significant progress" in improving air quality, which 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 counties covered by the report: Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton.
"All of (these counties) can be proud of this major accomplishment. Everyone should be applauded, from citizens who keep their vehicles in good running condition to industries and power plants that have invested in improved emission controls," said Judson H. Turner, Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. "It has taken many years, but the results are cleaner air and a healthier place to live and work."
EPA has opened a 30-day public comment period for the proposed re-designation. For more information, visit docket number EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0986 at www.regulations.gov .