Southern California environment news and trends

EPA proposes stricter national limits on fine particle pollution

A view of downtown Los Angeles,Californi

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

Under pressure from a lawsuit submitted by 11 states (including California) and the National Lung Association, the Environmental Protection Agency is submitting new air quality standards that would restrict the amount of soot that can be released into the air.

As reported by the L.A. Times, the proposed change would decrease the allowable fine particle pollution (AKA soot) across America to a range of between 12 and 13 micrograms per cubic meter of air from the current 15 micrograms. Soot has been linked to premature deaths, asthma attacks, lung cancer and heart disease.

“Through this rule making, the EPA will get information into the hands of American families so they can manage their lives better,” said Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation at the EPA during a telephone press conference today. “Mothers of asthmatic children, the elderly, folks who suffer from respiratory or cardiac or pulmonary challenges.”

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