The state of Georgia including Columbus meets the national air quality standards for fine particle matter but the city must wait for data on ground level ozone or smog.
“It means we are in compliance with the Clean Air Act,” said Rick Jones, director of the Columbus Planning Department.
The city of Columbus was notified in a Thursday letter from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“Based on the most recent air quality data, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that all areas in Georgia meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for fine particles (PM 2.5), measured over a 24-hour period,” Lisa P. Jackson of the EPA said in a letter to Gov. Sonny Perdue. “Consistent with the requirements of the Clean Air Act, EPA is designating all of Georgia unclassifiable/attainment. I commend the residents of Georgia and their environmental leaders for meeting these air-quality standards.”
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The report means that Columbus will not be classified as nonattainment for particulate matter and should be in good shape for the next year, Jones said. City officials are still awaiting air quality data on ozone, a component of smog. That report may not be available until the end of this year.