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EPA To Impose Ozone Designation

December 23, 2011 State of Wyoming, Sublette County No Comments
pinedale-ozone

Air quality tested in Sublette County last year, home to about 10,000 people, was more polluted than the air in Los Angeles, home to more than 3 million residents. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency is finally going forward with a proposal made by former Governor Dave Freudenthal in 2009 that could force the gas industry operating in Sublette County to clean up its act. EPA sent a letter to Governor Matt Mead on Dec. 8 saying it was prepared to designate the Upper Green River Basin as a non-attainment zone.  A non-attainment zone is an area where air pollution levels continually exceed national air quality standards. This designation would ultimately affect the amount of emissions allowed from the gas industry. EPA will begin enacting the designation as it settles a nationwide lawsuit for failure to implement ozone standards filed by the environmental group WildEarth Guardians. Mead’s communications director Renny MacKay said Mead is pleased that the EPA has agreed with Wyoming’s recommendations. He said EPA seems to be committed to working with Wyoming to get back into attainment. “This effort started in 2008,” Mackay said in an email, “and there’s been a reduction in emissions but we all recognize more needs to be done.”

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