LITTLE ROCK, AR - New Ozone standards that are being proposed by federal regulators would place Crittenden and Pulaski counties in violation of air-quality standards.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency measures smog by calculating the concentration of ozone molecules in the atmosphere over an 8-hour period. The current standard is 0.084 parts per million. EPA wants to reduce the number to between 0.070 and 0.075 parts per million.
Ozone is considered the main component of smog, which can affect people with breathing problems. The pollutant can also have negative effects on trees, vegetation and crops.
The agency will take public comment for 90 days and settle on a final number by March 12.
EPA spokesman John Millett says Crittenden and Pulaski counties would be among the 533 that would violate the standard if it is set at 0.070 parts per million.
Millett says the counties could meet the new standards by 2020 due to tighter emission controls the federal government is putting in place.