Governor Jim Doyle today Sunday that eight counties in Eastern Wisconsin have reached a new clean air status and that he is directing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to request ozone attainment redesignation for the region. Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Manitowoc and Kewaunee counties will be included in the request, providing new growth opportunities for businesses in these areas and signifying cleaner air for everyone.
“This confirms that the air we breathe in Eastern Wisconsin is cleaner today than it was a decade ago,” Governor Doyle said. “Together with local leaders, private citizens, the business community, and the Department of Natural Resources, we have made tremendous progress towards a healthier Wisconsin. I’m directing the DNR to request approval from the EPA for redesignation by this fall. We still have a lot of work to reduce air pollution and safeguard the health of Wisconsin families for years to come. But by moving toward attainment we are preserving a good quality of life and sending a clear message that this is a healthy and growing region.”
The Governor has directed the DNR to develop redesignation documents. The DNR will then hold public hearings and submit the redesignation request to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The state will continue to comply fully with federal mandates that preserve air quality, such as reformulated gas requirements, regulating ozone-forming substances, and vehicle inspections in Southeast Wisconsin.
Two counties – Sheboygan and Door – currently designated as non-attainment will not be included in this request, as they have not reached EPA-required ozone levels for redesignation. If current downward trends in ozone levels continue in Sheboygan and Door and EPA-required thresholds are met, then the state will move to include them in a future request.