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EPA Proposes Tougher Standards On Soot Pollution

Danny Lee |
June 15, 2012 | 6:06 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The new EPA standards would reduce the allowable soot level in the nation's air. (Creative Commons)
The new EPA standards would reduce the allowable soot level in the nation's air. (Creative Commons)
The Obama administration has proposed tighter standards on soot, a pollutant caused by smokestacks and diesel engines, that some opponents have dismissed as a lesser issue during a weak economy, MSNBC reported.

The proposed Environmental Protection Agency rule would reduce the acceptable amount of soot in the air to within the range of 12 to 13 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The current maximum standard is 15 micrograms per cubic meter.

Activists and the American Lung Association argued that more stringent standards would cut down on premature deaths and asthma attacks.

“Clean air is not a luxury. It is a basic public right, and standards that protect it are an absolute necessity,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said after a court ordered the EPA to act.

Opponents argue that environmental regulations would stifle economic recovery.

“EPA’s proposal could substantially increase costs to states, municipalities, businesses and ultimately consumers without justified benefits,” American Petroleum Institute spokesman Howard Feldman said in the Los Angeles Times.

The EPA predicts that the cost of enforcing the new standards would range from $2.9 million to $69 million, while savings in health costs would be from $88 million to $5.9 billion, according to the L.A. Times.

Read the full L.A. Times story here, or MSNBC story here. For more of Neon Tommy’s coverage on EPA-related stories, click here.


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