The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that the Knoxville area now meets the 1997 federal ozone standard. The Knoxville area includes Anderson, Blount, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon and Sevier Counties in their entireties, and the portion of Cocke County that falls within the boundary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

EPA’s decision to redesignate the area to attainment is based on air quality monitoring data over the past three years. The Knoxville area has made significant progress in improving air quality and has reached an important clean air milestone. Air in the Knoxville area meets the health based standard set in 1997, and the area has in place measures and a plan to ensure the area continues to meet this standard.

The EPA is expected to announce a new ozone standard in July.

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