The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday released updated soot standards that will improve quality of life for many Americans with minimal cost. However, the move will likely upset some oil manufacturers, refiners, and other operations who will be required to put money into pollution-abatement upgrades.
"The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review its standards for particle pollution every five years to determine whether the standards should be revised," an EPA statement Friday read. "Today's proposal...builds on smart steps already taken by the EPA to slash dangerous pollution in communities across the country."
Soot particles, which measure less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, are the most widespread and deadly air toxin. Particle inhalation can lead to acute bronchitis and aggravated asthma among children as well as stroke, heart attack and premature death, according to EPA.
Estimated cost for implementing the soot standard upgrade ranges from $2.9 million to $69 million a year with annual benefits to Americans estimated between $69 million and $88 million.
Although some companies will balk at the cost, EPA said "thanks to recent Clean Air Act rules that have and will dramatically cut pollution, 99 percent of U.S. counties are projected to meet the proposed standards without undertaking any further actions to reduce emissions."
Before final standards are issued on December 14, 2012, EPA will have two public meetings - one in Sacramento, one in Philadelphia - and will accept public comment for 63 days.
by RTT Staff Writer
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