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EPA PROPOSES REDESIGNATION OF ONONDAGA COUNTY AS A CARBON MONOXIDE ATTAINMENT AREA

 NEW YORK, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to approve New York State's request to redesignate Onondaga County, including the City of Syracuse, as attaining the air quality standard for carbon monoxide. When EPA finalizes its proposed approval, the Syracuse Metropolitan Area will not have to use carbon monoxide-reducing oxygenated fuel during the winter months, when carbon monoxide is a problem.
 "State air quality data indicates that carbon monoxide concentrations have decreased so that the air meets national clean air standards," said Kathleen Callahan, acting EPA Region 2 Administrator. "The cleaner air is due to the use of newer, cleaner cars and an enforceable, permanent plan to improve traffic flow."
 Carbon monoxide harms people by decreasing the blood's ability to carry oxygen. It is largely emitted by motor vehicles.
 Federal emission standards for new cars and a traffic management plan implemented by the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council have decreased emissions of carbon monoxide in the Syracuse area.
 EPA is also proposing to approve an air quality maintenance plan adopted by New York State. The federal Clear Air Act requires EPA to approve the plan before it can redesignate an area to attainment of an air quality standard. The plan requires the State and local governments to continue to implement the strategies that caused the improved air quality. It also shows that oxygenated fuel is currently not needed to assure healthful air quality. However, the State has had to pledge to monitor air quality in downtown Syracuse, and if air quality exceeds healthful levels, New York State must prevent additional exceedances by reinstating the oxygenated fuels program as soon as possible, but not later than the start of the following winter.
 Oxygenate in fuels reduces carbon monoxide emissions by promoting more complete combustion. New York State implemented an oxy-fuels program last winter in the Syracuse metropolitan area, as required by the Clean Air Act for all areas that violated the carbon monoxide standard in 1988 and 1989. It is currently required during the winter months in the New York City area and throughout New Jersey.
 When the public notice is published in the Federal Register, it will announce the start of a thirty-day comment period on the proposed redesignation. After the comment period closes, EPA will prepare responses to the comments and announce its final decision in the Federal Register.
 -0- 7/16/93
 /CONTACT: Herman Phillips of U.S. EPA, 212-264-2515/


CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: New York IN: ENV SU:

TM-OS -- NY053 -- 2646 07/16/93 16:47 EDT
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Date:Jul 16, 1993
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