CA: Editorial: EPA compliance gives Memphis an important breath of fresh air
It has been a long time coming, but having the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declare Shelby County in compliance with federal smog standards is great news for several reasons.
For average citizens, it means they will be breathing cleaner air, which comes with all kinds of health benefits.
For officials tasked with pursuing industries and jobs for the city, the compliance declaration removes what has been at times a serious impediment to recruiting heavy industry.
In a decision published last week in the Federal Register, the EPA said it is redesignating the county from nonattainment, or noncompliance, to attainment with the 2008 eight-hour standard for ozone pollution. The decision takes effect July 25.
The redesignation of Shelby County follows similar declarations by the EPA for Crittenden and DeSoto.
On the economic development front, the EPA action makes it easier and cheaper for new and expanding industries in the area to get air-pollution permits.
…The compliance status was obtained despite the city ending emission testing for vehicles in 2013.
Newer-model cars with cleaner-burning engines and tractor-trailers using diesel fuel that generates less pollution helped the city meet EPA air-quality standards.
Also, several major industries should be congratulated for working to significantly reduce their emissions, including Kruger Products’ KTG USA tissue-making plant in North Memphis and Carrier Corp.’s air-conditioner factory in Collierville.
Maybe now, reaching compliance will help the city attract industries that will replace those lost jobs and add more.