The Environmental Protection Agency is charged with protecting our natural environment as well as the health of those who enjoy its resources. By enacting legislation that regulates the use of chemicals the EPA is able to protect our natural resources as well as the health and safety of our citizens. And in that spirit, the EPA reported late last month that the agency had settled claims with Kemira Chemicals and Kemira Water Solutions, two subsidiaries of a global chemicals company whose North American headquarters are based in Atlanta.
Maintaining good air quality in urban areas is not easy. Emissions from motor vehicles, factories, and power plants react to sunlight creating a chemical fog near the surface, a ground level ozone most commonly referred to as smog. In order to help limit smog, the Environmental Protection Agency issues limits on how much pollution is permissible in a given area. And after some hard work, Atlanta recently met the EPA standards. The only problem is the EPA set those standards in 1997, and the standards set in 2008, as well as increased standards proposed for the future. While the meeting of air quality standards, even outdated ones, is a sign of progress, many metropolitan areas still have a hard time progressing enough to really catch up to guidelines currently in place. Atlanta is doing better than some cities, however, who are still struggling even to meet 1987 standards. For businesses, it is an uphill battle as they strive to clear one hurdle only to be faced with a new challenge.