It’s Official! EPA has proposed tougher new particle soot standards. Materials available online at www.epa.gov/pm
Here’s what we think:
It is a very positive step to protect the breathing public from death and disease. We are very encouraged that EPA is proposing standards consistent with the advice of its science advisers.
Particle soot is by far the most lethal of widespread air pollutants.
Tougher EPA standards could prevent thousands of premature deaths a year. Breathers everywhere will benefit.
In addition to its preferred proposed range, EPA has agreed to take comments on an annual standard as tight as 11 micrograms per cubic meter. Health and environmental advocates will press for the tightest possible standard. More cleanup means better health.
EPA has flatly rejected the call by polluters and some in Congress to keep the current, scientifically deficient standards.
It is true that a number of programs already in the works – the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, the Mercury/Toxics Rule for plants, the ocean-going ship standards, and others – will make a great deal of progress and will help many areas meet tougher standards.
But ALL of these cleanup programs are under attack – in Congress, in the Executive Branch and in the courts.
These programs do not eliminate the need for EPA to set national particle soot standards at a level to protect people’s health.