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EPA to reconsider National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter, returning to science-based expert review

June 10, 2021 Work Area: Power Plants

The EPA announced today it will reconsider the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter, which were previously undermined by the Trump Administration.

Hayden Hashimoto, CATF Staff Attorney said:

“Today’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency will be reconsidering the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter represents an important step towards both putting science back at the center of Agency decisions that are critical to protecting public health and the environment and achieving environmental justice for disadvantaged communities. The Trump Administration undermined the NAAQS review process and finalized a rule that retained the existing standards, ignored the latest science calling into question the adequacy of those standards, and failed to adequately protect public health. We strongly support EPA’s decision to reconsider that rule and return to a process that relies on the latest science reviewed by qualified experts.

The NAAQS for particulate matter (or soot), especially fine particulate matter (or PM2.5), are important because exposure to PM has been linked to serious health issues including heart attacks, asthma attacks, and even premature death. We urge EPA to move expeditiously through the reconsideration process to set new standards that reflect what the latest science shows is necessary to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety, as required by the Clean Air Act.”

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