NEWS: EPA reclassification for pollution puts Salt Lake, Provo in ‘serious’ category

Deseret News
By Amy Joi O’Donoghue
Published May 1, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY — The inability of the Provo and Salt Lake City regions to meet 2006 federal clean air standards for fine particulate pollution resulted in the Environmental Protection Agency reclassifying the metropolitan areas into a new category of “serious” non-attainment.

The new classification means Utah’s air quality regulators will have to come up with enhanced strategies to keep the formation of fine particulate pollution, or PM2.5, in check. The agency will have to come up with those additional pollution-control regulations by the end of this year.

The EPA’s new administrator, Scott Pruitt, signed the notice Friday, with the classification scheduled to take effect in a month’s time.

The Salt Lake City and Provo regions were unable to meet 24-hour standards for PM2.5 between 2013 and 2015 because at least one monitor in those areas showed pollution values that exceeded the federal threshold.

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