The Valley air basin has reached a clean air standard that could lift the Environmental Protection Agency's annual $29 million penalty on Valley residents, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said.
The one-hour ozone standard was abolished in 2005 and replaced by the eight-hour standard, but federal law still required the Valley to achieve the old standard by 2010. The missed deadline triggered a $29 million annual penalty, which is is paid mostly by Valley residents in vehicle registrations.
At a news conference Thursday morning, the district's governing board will officially announce the Valley has reached the ozone standard and ask the EPA to lift the penalty. The district said the Valley air basin is the first in the country to come from "extreme nonattainment" to attainment of the health standard.
The board's Fresno office is at 1990 E. Gettysburg Ave.
Board members and district officials could not be reached Saturday for comment.
Visit fresnobee.com throughout the day for breaking news and updates.