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St. Louis Area Ordered to Improve Air Quality

(UPI file)

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis – The federal government is holding the city of St. Louis plus eight area counties to a higher standard for clean air.

Starting in 2010, those areas will be required to meet the EPA's eight-hour ozone attainment standard, instead of the current one-hour standard.

Excluded from the EPA list is Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri. That's where the Holcim company wants to build the nation's largest cement plant.

The company says the facility will use state of the art pollution control equipment. But the Sierra Club's Jill Miller doubts that claim.

"They certainly could do much, much better, and the people of this region deserve absolutely the best technology to be used, even if it means fewer profits for the shareholders of the corporation."

A Holcim spokeswoman says the company's equipment will reduce emissions nearly 50 percent during peak ozone days.