Kansas City labeled habitual violator of Clean Air Act

The Kansas City area has violated the federal Clean Air Act, exceeding the ozone standard eight times over the summer, Missouri officials said Thursday.

That makes Kansas City a habitual violator because it has exceeded the federal standard for three consecutive summers.

Ordinarily, that would mean the area could be designated "non-attainment," which could mean many new air quality controls.

But the Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering the ozone standard, and it could be three years before a new standard is in place.

That standard, however, could become even more stringent.

The EPA has been using a 2008 standard of 75 parts per billion. But the agency announced in September that it would reconsider the standard because the Bush administration had not followed the recommendations of the EPA's science advisory committee, which wanted the standard to be lower to protect human health, experts said.

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