(AP) — Indiana officials say they will appeal the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's decision to find Lake and Porter counties out of
compliance with air quality standards because of their location near
Gov. Mitch Daniels and Attorney General Greg Zoeller say every Indiana
county meets the standards under the Clean Air Act for the first time but
that Lake and Porter are being punished because one monitoring station in
Illinois fell short.
Indiana counties are included with Cook County in Illinois and Kenosha
County in Wisconsin in the Chicago metropolitan area's monitoring zone.
arbitrarily lumping us in with Chicago's dirty air, EPA has wrongly
penalized northwest Indiana even though Lake and Porter counties are
within the proper ozone levels and the federal nonattainment designation
would do nothing to improve air quality in the two counties," Zoeller said
in a statement Thursday.
notified Indiana earlier this year that air quality data submitted by
Illinois showed one monitor exceeded the ozone standard by less than 1
percent. The agency said it would list Lake and Porter counties as not
meeting the standard because they are in the Chicago metropolitan
takes effect Friday.
meet the standards means businesses must take steps to reduce ozone
produced by their operations. It also forces the state to take other
actions to limit ozone emissions, including monitoring vehicle exhaust at
Clean Air Car Check stations, The Times in Munster reported.
officials say the EPA can designate portions of a statistical area as
being in compliance even if other parts of that area don't meet the
standard. Daniels said clean-air regions have been carved out in Columbus,
Ohio, and Knoxville, Tenn.
excuse for discrimination against Indiana in this case," Daniels said.
Department of Environmental Management says Lake and Porter counties have
met the ozone standard and all other air quality standards since the end
of the 2007-2009 measurement period.
for the EPA in Chicago had no immediate comment.