Despite what some perceive as tough regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency, local officials in central Oklahoma soon will be able to make their own choices on how to reduce carbon monoxide pollution.
Representations from the EPA, state, county and local governments are to sign an agreement Thursday morning with the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments making this a Flexible Attainment Region.
"Central Oklahoma is and will continue to be an attainment city in the quality of its air," said Zach D. Taylor, the association's executive director. "What this agreement will mean to us is that local officials can take individual actions on days when it appears there is a threat of too much carbon monoxide in the air." These measures primarily will revolve around transportation, mostly individual transportation. On clean air alert days, residents will be urged to park their cars and utilize car pools or ride the Mass Transit bus system. Heads of federal, state, county and city agencies and private businesses will encourage employees to get out of their cars on those days. Transportation-sensitive companies also will be urged to work their schedules so that only the minimum number of vehicles will be on the road during clean air alert days. "What it means to central Oklahoma to be an attainment city is that it is a good tool for recruiting industry and growing our own local industry," Taylor said. "It also means that we enjoy better health and a lower cost of living." When Thursday's agreement is signed, central Oklahoma will become the fourth such flexible attainment region in the United States. The first was Tulsa. …