Columbus Area May Dodge Strict EPA Scrutiny

26 08 2008

 

BY TIM CHITWOOD – tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com

Local leaders can breathe a little easier now that initial reports indicate the Columbus area will not face stricter scrutiny for meeting some federal air-quality standards.

Both the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division have not included Columbus in a list of areas to be designated as “nonattainment” for failing to meet air-quality standards for particulate pollution. The EPA and EPD will make a final decision on which cities deserve stricter environmental enforcement in December.

Local government and business leaders fear such enforcement because it could affect everything from transportation projects to industrial recruitment, and particularly any initiative involving federal funding. Anything that could worsen the area’s air quality would be subject to intense scrutiny.

“It doesn’t mean you can’t develop,” said Rick Jones, the city’s planning director. “It just makes it more difficult to do so.”

Read on here.

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