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U.S. EPA LISTS MONO BASIN AS VIOLATING AIR PARTICULATE STANDARD

 SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced final action to redesignate the Mono Basin portion of Mono County, Calif., as failing to meet federal health-based standards for particulate air pollution.
 The redesignation to "nonattainment" status, which was requested by the California Air Resources Board, will require measures to be taken in the Mono Lake area to reduce concentrations of particulate matter, such as dust, in the air.
 A potential contributor to the particulate problem in Mono Basin is airborne dust from the areas of dry, windswept lakebed at Mono Lake. These areas have increased as the level of Mono Lake has dropped significantly in recent decades due to the diversion of incoming streams to agricultural and urban water users in Southern California.
 The Mono Basin will initially be classified as a "moderate" nonattainment area because particulate levels exceeded health standards four times between 1988 and 1991. This requires that California submit to U.S. EPA, within 18 months of final redesignation, a plan to bring the area into compliance with the federal particulate standard by the end of 1999.
 Particulate matter includes dust, smoke, fly ash and condensing vapors that can be suspended in the air for long periods of time. When inhaled, these microscopic particles can lodge in the lungs and affect respiratory function. Health effects from chronic exposure to high levels of particulate matter vary from nasal irritation to emphysema and bronchitis. Recent studies indicate that particulate pollution may contribute to as many as 60,000 premature deaths in the United States each year. Young people, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease are especially susceptible.
 -0- 11/16/93
 /CONTACT: Lois Grunwald of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1588/


CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: ENV SU: EXE

TM -- SF008 -- 5141 11/16/93 13:42 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 16, 1993
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