How's The Air In NC? EPA Results Are Here

Aug 28, 2014

A reduction of emissions from coal-fired plants like this one have helped North Carolina meet federal air quality standards.
Credit eutrophication&hypoxia / Flickr, Creative Commons

North Carolina is meeting a new national standard for reducing particle pollution. 

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has notified Governor Pat McCrory that it will officially designate that the state is in compliance this coming December. 

State air quality experts say particle pollution can reach dangerous levels at any time during the year. 

Tom Mather, spokesman for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, says the state has been able to maintain the air particle standard of 12 micrograms per cubic meter since it was set in December of 2012.

"The big reason here ...is the Clean Smokestacks Act which was passed by the General Assembly in 2002...and it required all the coal-fired power plants in the state to reduce their emissions by about three-fourths."

DENR officials say new ozone standards are still being discussed by the Environmental Protection Agency.  Dangerously high ozone levels occur mostly during the summer months.