MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Environmental Protection Agency has rejected appeals from state officials over air quality listings.
According to The Commercial Appeal, the decision means the counties remain classified as "non-attainment" areas because of ozone levels.
Officials say the designation makes it more difficult to attract industry.
The "non-attainment" counties in the Delta region are Shelby in Tennessee, Crittenden in Arkansas and part of DeSoto in Mississippi.
In East Tennessee, Anderson, Blount and Knox counties are listed.
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation commissioner Bob Martineau said Wednesday that the federal agency chose the "most burdensome of several options" in dealing with air pollution in the counties.