SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Gov. Spencer Cox has requested the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to extend the boundary of the Northern Wasatch Front ozone nonattainment area so as to include a chemical manufacturing company that has reportedly impacted the area’s air quality.

Nonattainment is any area that does not meet the air quality standards set by the EPA. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to outline the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for pollutants considered to be harmful to public health and the environment.

US Magnesium, the largest producer of primary magnesium in North America, is located in Tooele County on the southwestern edge of the Great Salt Lake.

“Utah has made significant strides in improving air quality over the past 10 years, but as our state continues to grow, we need to begin to look more strategically at opportunities to continue this trajectory,” Cox said. “This intentional approach gives us a focused range of tools that align with the outcome we all want — cleaner air and a better quality of life for Utahns.”

Cox says the request comes after an analysis by the Utah Division of Air Quality to identify volatile organic compound reduction strategies that will improve the state’s air quality and follow the Clean Air Act’s obligations.

The press release points out that magnesium processing from US Magnesium will produce not only volatile organic compounds but also nitrogen oxides and chlorine, which can be converted into hydrochloric acid — all of them contribute to ozone and air pollution.

Adjusting the boundary of the ozone nonattainment area will give DAQ the chance to implement strategies that will directly address the area’s air quality challenges.

A letter from the governor and supporting documents have been submitted to the EPA regional administrator, who has 18 months to approve or deny the state’s request.