The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday what it called "the most stringent standards ever" on smog, though the new level falls short of what the agency's scientific advisers say is needed to significantly reduce heart and asthma attacks.
The new standard puts the six-county Sacramento region and 339 other counties farther behind in meeting the national health-based standard for ozone, the corrosive gas in smog that inflames airways and aggravates lung and heart disease. The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, for example, is still drafting its plan for attaining the old smog standard, adopted in 1997.
California is home to eight of the 10 smoggiest urban areas in the nation, the result of its climate, topography and population. But the state also has the nation's strongest smog-fighting regulations and is attempting to enforce greenhouse gas limits on new vehicles that would simultaneously cut smog.
Read the full story at sacbee.com.