Breath of fresh air

Feds outline plan to improve air quality in California’s worst areas

Two areas in California with the worst air quality in the United States have outlined a plan to meet federal ozone standards by 2024.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve an “8-hour ozone air-quality plan” for the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast areas with the goal of meeting the Clean Air Act’s standard of .08 parts per million of ozone as measured in eight-hour increments, according to an EPA press release.

Positive changes already have been made toward improving the state’s air quality, such as the EPA’s Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles Regulation, which will reduce diesel-truck and bus emissions by requiring engine replacement or the installation of PM (particulate matter) retrofits beginning in January 2012.

Ozone pollution can cause health problems such as asthma, bronchitis and heart attack, with the elderly and children being the most susceptible.

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