EPA Rule Encouraging for Industrial Development in Several Georgia Counties

On September 6, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule re-designating fourteen counties in Georgia from “non-attainment” to “unclassifiable/attainment” for particulate matter under the Clean Air Act. The determination of attainment indicates that the areas are not causing or contributing to a violation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), and therefore the government does not have to impose as strict restrictions on air emissions as in nonattainment areas. As a result, the new designation allows industry located in or to be constructed in these counties to more easily obtain air permits and to avoid more expensive pollution controls on equipment. This will make development and redevelopment of industrial sites in these counties more attractive.

The re-designated areas are Albany (Dougherty County), Atlanta (Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Paulding Counties), and Brunswick (Glynn County). 62 counties in Florida, the majority of the state, were also re-designated as unclassifiable/attainment. The new rule is effective on October 6, 2016.

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