EPA toughens requirements for cutting smog - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

EPA toughens requirements for cutting smog

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government says the air in hundreds of U.S. counties, including three in Mississippi, is simply too dirty to breathe and ordered a multibillion-dollar expansion of efforts to clean up smog.

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 limits "the most stringent standards ever."

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 to breathe.

In Mississippi, those are Harrison and Jackson counties on the coast and Desoto County in the north.


(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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