Public hearings begin today on new soot pollution rules

July 17, 2012
Contact: 
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Philadelphia – July 16, 2012)  Experts from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) will join hundreds of other Americans this week to testify at two public hearings on proposed new standards for particle pollution – more commonly known as soot.
 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding two hearings on the proposed standards: the first in Philadelphia today; the second in Sacramento on Thursday.
 
The all-day hearings will focus on proposed new clean air standards to protect the public from soot, a dangerous and sometimes lethal form of air pollution linked to a wide variety of heart and lung diseases.
 
“Philadelphia is home to 32,000 children at risk from asthma and more than 363,000 people at risk from heart disease,” said Mandy Warner, who testified for EDF today. “Emission reductions made here in Pennsylvania, along with reductions made in other states whose pollution travels into Pennsylvania, will help improve air quality, ensuring healthier, longer lives.”
 
You can read Mandy’s full testimony here.
 
Particle pollution is comprised of extremely small, often microscopic, bits of matter that can get deep into human lungs and cause serious health problems including asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and premature death.
 
A new study released this month found that every increase of 10 micrograms per cubic meter in fine particle pollution was associated with a 14% increased risk of “all-cause” mortality, a 26% increase in cardiovascular death, and a 37% increase in lung cancer death.
 
EPA’s proposed new rules for particle pollution, when compared to current air quality, could prevent as many as 35,700 premature deaths each year.
 
The proposed new standards come almost three years after the D.C. Circuit Court remanded the 2006 standards back to EPA to correct deficiencies identified by the Court.
 
“The public has been waiting long enough for updated standards based on the latest science, said Warner. “Every year of delay has resulted in thousands of avoidable deaths, numerous heart attacks, asthma attacks, and other health impacts. We look forward to EPA finalizing strong health-protective standards.”
 
The final standards for soot pollution are expected by this December.

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