Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the entire state is now in compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The federal ground level ozone standard of 70 parts per billion was established in 2015.
“All of our citizens deserve to have clean air to breathe, and this achievement is evidence of our commitment to make Louisiana an even better place to live,” said Gov. Edwards. “The public benefits from lowered ozone levels which can impact their quality of health. It can also benefit business and the health of our economy. My thanks to Sec. Chuck Carr Brown and his team at LDEQ along with their partners statewide who are making great progress toward improving Louisiana’s environment.”
Louisiana gained total compliance thanks to improved ozone levels in the greater Baton Rouge area, which is comprised of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Ascension and Livingston parishes.
“We want to thank everyone, especially the environmental groups that have worked with us to reach this goal. And our work does not end here. We will continue working to maintain our attainment status,” said LDEQ Secretary Dr. Chuck Carr Brown. “Congratulations to all.”
This latest accomplishment is the result of cooperation from industry that developed Ozone Action Plans, implemented stricter regulations, responded to early action days and limited their activities to avoid emissions. Additional partners include environmental and governmental groups as well as individual citizens who heeded Ozone Action Days and curtailed their activities.
When the amendments to the Clean Air Act were promulgated in 1990, the state had 20 parishes in the nonattainment category for unsafe ozone levels. With a great deal of effort and cooperation, the state met the previous standards three times. Louisiana attained the one-hour ozone standard in 1997 and the more restrictive eight-hour standard in 2008 and 2015.