WASHINGTON – Yalobusha County is one of eight counties in Mississippi that would currently violate an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to strengthen the national smog standards.
The eight counties fall under a new cumulative “secondary” standard that would set ozone emissions within a range of 7-15 ppm-hours. It is designed to protect sensitive vegetation and ecosystems, including forests, parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas.
According to the EPA, the proposed rule would require industry to revamp their existing emission control budgets and plans, or draw up new ones.
Ground-level ozone is created by chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, which include a variety of chemicals. Among the leading emitters of ozone-creating pollutants are industrial facilities and motor vehicles.
The EPA plans to issue final standards by the end of August. Then, the federal and state governments will spend the next three-and-a-half years putting in place plans to ensure states meet the new standards.
The other seven Mississippi counties are Adams, Bolivar, Harrison, Hinds, Jackson, Lauderdale, and Lee.