Division for Air Quality
Northern Kentucky Counties Meet Ozone Standard

Press Release Date:  Thursday, August 05, 2010  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Robb Schmitz, 502-564-3999  

           Air quality in Northern Kentucky is better today than it was 13 years ago. Today, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) published in the Federal Register that Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties have been re-designated as attaining the 1997 8-hour federal air quality standard for ozone pollution of 0.08 ppm.

          On Jan. 29, 2010 the state Division for Air Quality (DAQ) submitted a request for the U.S. EPA to recognize Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties as meeting the health-based standard.

          “This redesignation of attainment clearly demonstrates what can happen when state and local governments, along with industry, work together and bring about a positive solution for everyone,” said DAQ division director John Lyons. “But, we all realize our efforts to make the air in Northern Kentucky cleaner and healthier is a never-ending challenge that we will continue to address.”

Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties have been out of compliance with the standard for a number of years, primarily due to monitored violations in Warren County, Ohio.  The northern Kentucky counties were considered to be partly responsible for the region’s air quality problems and were included in the 1997 Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area (OH-KY-IN MSA) designation. Ohio and Indiana counties linked to the OH-KY-IN MSA have gone through this review process and those counties also have been given final designation as attaining the federal standard.

              Ozone is a colorless, odorless gas that is formed when emissions from a wide variety of sources, including internal combustion engines, power plants, factories and homes, react in the presence of sunlight and heat. Reaching its peak levels in the summer, ozone can cause a variety of health problems, including irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract and difficulty in breathing.  Children, the elderly and people with heart or respiratory problems are particularly susceptible to high levels of ozone.