RALEIGH — Federal environmental officials say all of North Carolina meets a new more-stringent national air quality standard for fine-particle pollution.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has notified Gov. Pat McCrory that the agency intends to officially designate the state in December as attaining or meeting the new particulate standard adopted in 2012.
The designation comes after North Carolina lawmakers passed the Clean Smokestacks Act in 2002, which required power plants to reduce emissions of fine particles and other air pollutants.
Particulate pollution consists of small particles and liquid droplets in the air that can be harmful to breathe and contributes to haze and other air quality problems. People most susceptible to such pollution include those with heart and respiratory problems, older adults and young children.