St. Louis Public Radio News
6:29 am
Mon December 22, 2008

Tighter standards put region in violation of Clean Air Act

St. Louis, MO – Tighter standards for the amount of smog exposure that's acceptable over a 24-hour period have put the St. Louis region in violation of the Clean Air Act.

The Environmental Protection Agency informed the state of the violation on Monday. The city and surrounding counties have failed yearly smog tests since 2005, and failed ozone tests since the 1990s. But E-P-A regional spokesman David Bryan says that doesn't mean the clean-up policies are failing.

"Control strategies can be different for ozone and fine particle matter," he said. "We realize that we have to work hand in hand on several different criteria of pollutants to improve the air quality in St. Louis."

Mike Coulson with the East-West Gateway Council of Governments says the plans that will be presented to governments in Missouri and Illinois to control the yearly smog levels will also help the region meet the daily standards. He says the region is not at risk of losing federal highway money, a penalty for clean air violations.