Dane County is again in compliance with federal standards for particle pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The county was listed as being in "non-attainment" in December 2008 based on air monitoring from 2005 to 2007. But data collected in 2008 showed the county was in compliance with new, more stringent air quality standards for fine particle pollution, pollutants from vehicles and coal-burning power plants.

Despite being in compliance, levels of fine particle pollution in Dane County are high enough that the county would again be in violation were the EPA to make standards even tougher, something that is being considered by the agency.

"We can't breathe easily just yet since the EPA may soon be tightening air quality standards," said Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. "We need to continue to step up our efforts to protect the air we breathe and the health of our residents."

The Dane County Clean Air Coalition is taking a number of steps to reduce pollution, including working with companies and state agencies to encourage employees to drive less and promoting upgrades to equipment such as boilers, generators and diesel school buses.

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