EPA: Denver violated ozone standards | VailDaily.com

EPA: Denver violated ozone standards

DENVER, Colorado ” Federal regulators officially found the Denver area in violation of federal ozone limits Tuesday with their refusal to grant the city another extension to meet regulations.

State health and air quality officials will now have to come up with a new plan for meeting standards as soon as possible.

Ozone levels had been too high in nine counties in eastern Colorado, including the Denver area but the Environmental Protection Agency briefly put off declaring the region as a “non-attainment area,” or out of compliance, in exchange for the state’s plan to reduce ozone by the end of this year.

The determination of compliance is based on levels averaged over three years. Monitoring data from 2005, 2006 and the first three quarters of 2007 showed Denver had violated ground-level ozone caps, with high readings this summer.

Ground-level ozone is a primary ingredient in smog and is unhealthy to breathe. It is formed when the sun bakes volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides. Vehicles, power plants and industrial facilities are the primary sources of emissions.

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