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Jan 20, 2012 10:17 AM by AP

DEQ: 5 parishes around Baton Rouge OK'd by EPA

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality says the five-parish area around Baton Rouge is now officially within the federal government's ozone pollutant standards.
DEQ said Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency deems the area in attainment of ozone standards. Emission reductions, technological advances and other work have cut down on ozone pollutants to meet EPA's 8-hour standards.
DEQ Secretary Peggy Hatch called it a "momentous occasion."
Thomas Diggs, EPA's regional air chief, called the area's attainment a "milestone reflecting cleaner, healthier air quality for citizens of Baton Rouge."
DEQ says the entire state is in attainment now with EPA's ozone standards.
Ozone forms in the air when nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons from car exhaust, industrial activities and other sources combine during hot and sunny days.

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