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Last updated 5:35AM ET
March 9, 2021
Alabama Cities Face New Air Quality Standards
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Alabama's four major metro areas - Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery and Huntsville - are among dozens of cities and counties facing new air quality standards.

The Environmental Protection Agency is calling its new smog restrictions "the most stringent standards ever."

The government says the air in 345 counties is too dirty to breathe, and will require a clean-up. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson says state and local officials will have ample time to meet the new requirements - as much as 20 years in the cases of the worst polluters.

But some worry they do not go far enough to purge pollutants hanging above the nation's cities and towns.

The EPA estimates compliance could cost as much as $8.8 billion a year by the time counties are expected to meet the requirement.

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