Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Dropped from List of Cities with Poor Air

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Dropped from List of Cities with Poor Air

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - Tulsa has been removed from the Environmental Protection Agency list of cities not meeting its air quality standards.

Also, Oklahoma City was listed as one of seven cities newly meeting carbon monoxide standards.

The federal agency reported Thursday that more than half the U.S. population still lives in cities plagued by too much smog, and one third in areas with dangerously high carbon monoxide.

Most major cities flunked air quality checks for at least several days during the past three years, and some such as Los Angeles and New York failed much more frequently, the agency said.

Eighteen cities violated standards for both smog and carbon monoxide, meaning in most cases they have major pollution problems in both summer and winter months.

``These lists demonstrate the magnitude of the air pollution problem still remaining in this country,'' said EPA Deputy Administrator F. Henry Habicht.

But Habicht said 133 million people still live in areas exceeding the smog standard and almost 78 million are in areas that are over the carbon monoxide limit.

The agency listed 96 areas where monitoring of the air showed that smog, or ozone, levels were too high more than three times since 1987. Anything over 0.12 parts per million is considered a violation of federal standards. The lists didn't say how far over that level the cities went.

The worst area, at least from the standpoint of number of days of violation, was the Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside area of California, with 137 days, followed by Bakersfield, Calif., with 44 days and New York City with 17.

Another list included 41 areas where carbon monoxide levels exceeded the limit of 9 parts per million on two or more days in either 1988 or 1989.

Los Angeles led again, with 71 days, followed by Spokane, Wash., with 37 days, Oshkosh, Wis., with 32, the area of Steubenville, Ohio and Weirton, W.Va., with 31, and then New York and Las Vegas, Nev., with 26.

Smog is primarily a summertime problem, caused by the interaction of the more intense sunlight with chemicals in the air. …

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