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Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 6:10am

EPA To Decide On Stricter Air Standards for Rural Areas

Updated: 5 years ago.
Air pollution generated near Rome could be impacting Atlanta's air quality. (photo by Amber Rhea via Flickr)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is determining whether facilities in Floyd County are contributing to Metro Atlanta’s air pollution. The EPA’s conclusions could mean tougher air regulations for the rural area.

Wind patterns from coal and paper plants near Rome could be moving pollution into metro Atlanta, according to a computer analysis conducted in 2008 by the EPA. And while the facilities responsible for most of the air pollution have made strides to improve their emissions, the EPA could require more restrictive caps for Floyd County. That’s if the agency decides to list Floyd as part of the Atlanta metro area not meeting air quality standards.

Floyd business leaders are concerned that any new regulations could stifle economic growth.

Current regulations have meant new building in the area is subject to environmental reviews.

If the EPA decides Floyd needs stricter regulations, it will take at least a year before those new standards are finalized.