Colorado

Jan 8, 2010 8:44 AM by Associated Press

Stricter smog caps could snare Colorado counties

Two southwestern Colorado counties will violate federal air pollution standards if proposed stricter regulations are approved. La Plata and Montezuma counties could join nine along Colorado's more populous Front Range as being in violation of ozone levels.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed a maximum ozone level ranging from 60 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. A decision is expected in August. The current standard is 75 parts per billion.

An area from south of Denver to northern Colorado is out of compliance with that standard. Paul Tourangeau, head of the state air pollution control division, says meeting a stricter standard would be a challenge. But he says "we do have tools."

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