EPA confirms role of 10 upwind states in North Carolina fine-particle pollution


RALEIGH, N.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged yesterday that soot blowing into North Carolina from 10 upwind states is fouling the Tar Heel State's air.

But EPA officials said regulatory measures announced in March - which require sharp reductions of power plant emissions in Eastern and Midwestern states by 2015 - should clean up North Carolina's air.

About a third of North Carolina's counties do not meet federal standards for ozone or fine-particle pollution.

"We're pleased the EPA has recognized that dirty air from other states can harm North Carolina residents and that steps should be taken to correct the problems," state Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement. "This is a positive result, but it doesn't go far enough."

As part of yesterday's announcement, the EPA said its analysis found that soot from power plants in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia adds significantly to North Carolina's fine-particle pollution.

While recognizing that soot wafts across the borders, the EPA rejected the state's claim that upwind states also add significantly to North Carolina's smog.

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