"The Clean Air Act, enacted in 1970 and amended in 1990, reshaped the way this country views clean air," said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp.
"Air quality is important to our health and our quality of life in Wisconsin. We work hard with businesses and the public to keep raising the bar to continually improve the quality of the air."
This year's successes include:
Received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reclassify seven southeastern Wisconsin counties (Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Washington and Waukesha) as meeting the federal 1997 8-hour ozone standard (84 part per billion). On November 16, 2011, the DNR supplemented a 2009 redesignation request to EPA and received approval on February 9, 2012. All 10 counties which originally did not meet the standard now meet it.
Met the federal 2006 fine particle (PM2.5) 24-hour standard (35 micrograms per cubic meter) for all counties. Monitor readings show that three counties (Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha) who did not meet the fine particle standard now do based on 2008 - 2010 and 2009 - 2011 air monitoring data. DNR has a draft redesignation comment out for public comment. Attainment by this year would put them in attainment several years ahead of schedule.
Continued to meet the prior 1979 federal 1-hour standard for ozone levels (120 parts per billion). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) originally classified 11 Wisconsin counties (Door, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, and Waukesha) as not meeting the standard on November 6, 1991. By 2009, all 11 counties had been reclassified to attainment and have continued to meet the standard.
If you would like to learn more, use our outreach tools listed below.
DNR continues to promote ways individuals can reduce their air emissions by issuing an Air Quality Tip of the Week. View these tips and sign up for the listserv at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/AirQuality/ItAllAddsUp.html
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provides timely information on state and federal air quality issues through Air News, which includes feature articles and news flashes on air related subjects. Sign up for the Air News Listserv for notification when new information is posted.For additional information on the DNR's Air Management Program, please visit: http://dnr.wi.gov/.