5 C. Indiana Counties Meet Air Quality Standards Created by kblakeslee on 7/18/2013 5:29:24 PM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Five growing central Indiana counties are meeting federal air quality standards for particulate matter for the first time since 2004.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion and Morgan counties as reaching attainment for particulates. The region includes Indianapolis and its northern, southern and western suburbs.
Particulates are tiny lung-choking particles that can aggravate breathing problems, such as asthma, particularly in children, the elderly and people with existing respiratory diseases.
IDEM says the EPA designation will allow the state agency to issue permits for economic development projects that include required air pollution controls.
Hoosier Environmental Council Executive Director Jesse Kharbanda says Indiana's air quality generally has improved but the state cannot be complacent as health-based standards tighten.