- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona environmental regulators say the federal government’s new standard on ozone will be a “major challenge” for the state to achieve.

The Obama administration on Thursday tightened limits on ozone, a smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency said the new standard will reduce exposure to dangerous ozone pollution and prevent thousands of asthma attacks, emergency room visits and even premature deaths.

The state Department of Environmental Quality reacted Friday by saying that achieving the standard will be difficult for Arizona due to the state’s unique geography, meteorological conditions and mix of emissions sources.

The Arizona agency currently monitor ozone concentrations in 10 counties and says nine of those counties report ozone levels in excess of EPA’s new standard too frequently.

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