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MDEQ protesting EPA's decision about DeSoto County

DESOTO COUNTY — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is objecting to a recent announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to include part of DeSoto County in the Memphis ozone non-attainment area.

The EPA announced a proposal to include the urban areas of DeSoto County and Crittenden County, Ark., in the Memphis ozone non-attainment area.

In a statement, Trudy D. Fisher, MDEQ executive director, said, “This is a most unfortunate decision by the current administration, and a failure to take a responsible approach to environmental protection EPA’s decision is not a required federal mandate and is contrary to the data we submitted to them.

“There are no industries in DeSoto County with major air emissions. We are also seeing improved air quality through EPA’s own mandates for improved fuel standards, fuel efficiency and better technology for new vehicles. So this becomes a costly paperwork exercise of taxpayer money with no air quality benefit.

“DeSoto County, and all of Mississippi, is in attainment with the current ozone standard of 75 parts per billion, and to group DeSoto County with an area not in attainment is arbitrary. Due to the hard work of DeSoto County’s leadership and citizens the air quality has improved. We will use every resource to confront and defeat this proposal.”

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