On August 30, Tennessee announced that the entire state is now in compliance with federal air quality health standards for particle pollution, also known as particulate matter or PM2.5. U.S. EPA has finalized its official redesignation of all of Anderson, Knox, Blount, Loudon Counties and the remaining part of Roane County as in attainment.
For nearly five decades, local, state, and federal governments have been monitoring, measuring, and working to reduce the air pollution to benefit public health. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has been on the vanguard of this effort, as Tennessee has seen nearly a 25 percent reduction in ozone pollution from 2000 to 2016 and a 50 percent reduction in particle pollution over the same period. Last year, Tennessee was also designated by EPA as attaining federal ozone standards statewide. This is the first time since air quality modeling and monitoring started in the 1970s that Tennessee has been designated as in attainment statewide for both ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot).
“This accomplishment represents a lot of work and commitment by so many people, from the State Air Pollution Control Board and our four local air programs to an array of individuals and industrial sources, but I am especially proud of our staff,” said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau.
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