Louisiana now meets the highest standard of air quality according to EPA standards. Governor John Bel Edwards says the success is the result of notable increases in air quality in the Baton Rouge area parishes. DEQ Environmental Scientist Vivian Aucoin says its great news for quality of life in the Bayou State.

“The state of Louisiana has really good air quality. We’re really excited. We’re really proud of all the work that we’ve done and all of our stakeholders have done,” Aucoin said.

Ozone is formed in the atmosphere when nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds interact with sunlight, and can be exacerbated from human activity. Aucoin says this makes ozone control a tough task.

“The difficult thing about ozone is that it’s not directly emitted from any facility, so you can’t go in and just say, ‘put on this control and it will stop emitting ozone,’” Aucoin said.

Aucoin says it’s been a tough fight, but over the years a series of regulations have helped bring Louisiana into compliance.

“Industrial facilities reducing the emissions that they put into the air, the pollution that they put into the air and a combination of all of the federal rules and state rules that go into your fuels,” Aucoin said.