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Ex-Ohio EPA Director Talks About Proposed Smog Regulation

Throughout the 2000s, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented a modeling scenario that grimly became known as the "depopulate Cleveland" scenario. The gist of it: Even if you cut out half of the vehicles--and all of the industry--in Cleveland, the area still couldn't meet the 1997 ozone attainment standard of 0.085 parts per million. But despite those dire predictions, the U.S. EPA re-designated the Cleveland area as attainment in September 2009. InsideCounsel spoke with Joseph Koncelik, former director of the Ohio EPA and an attorney with Frantz Ward, about how Northeast Ohio achieved attainment and what the new ozone standards the U.S. EPA proposed in January mean for future attainment in the region.

Q: What measures contributed to the September 2009 re-designation?

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Lauren Williamson

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