Ozone Season Begins

FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 1, 2007) - The Division for Air Quality (DAQ)
announces the beginning of ozone season, when harmful ground-level ozone - commonly known as smog - is most likely to form. DAQ conducts ozone monitoring from March 1 through Oct. 31 each year.

"The health of sensitive populations, including children, the elderly, and those with lung conditions, is most likely to be affected by ground-level ozone," DAQ Director John Lyons said.

"Everyone can help limit smog by maintaining vehicles properly, refueling
after 6 p.m., and combining errands into one trip," said Elizabeth Robb, DAQ environmental education specialist.

A map of current and forecasted air quality conditions is available at
www.airnow.gov. DAQ also offers a toll-free number 1- 800-AIR-IN-KY - with up-to-date regional air quality information.

Kentucky's actions in recent years to improve air quality enabled DAQ to petition the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in June 2006 to remove Jefferson, Bullitt, Oldham, and Boyd counties from the list of counties not meeting the federal ozone standard of 0.08 parts per million (PPM).

Action on the petition is pending. In October, EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee recommended that the standard be tightened to better protect the health of sensitive populations. The committee will hold a public teleconference on Monday, March 5, to accept public comment on a staff paper that recommends reducing the standard level to a range somewhat below 0.08 to 0.06 PPM.

EPA has agreed to propose action to revise or retain the current ozone standards by June 20, 2007, and take final action by March 12, 2008.

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