Environmental Protection

EPA Soot Standard Lowered to Reduce Pollution

The new soot standard reduced the amount allowed in the air from 15 to 12 micrograms per cubic meter.

We can all breathe a little easier now following the Environmental Protection Agency’s new reduction of allowable soot quantities in the air. The maximum amount of soot has been reduced by 20 percent in emissions from smokestacks, diesel trucks and other pollutant sources.

The previous allowable amount of soot released was 15 micrograms per cubic meter. It has been reduced to 12 micrograms per cubic meter.

It is also estimated that by 2020, this revised standard will be met all across the nation by 99 percent of countries without any additional action or funding.

“These standards are fulfilling the promise of the Clean Air Act. We will save lives and reduce the burden of illness in our communities, and families across the country will benefit from the simple fact of being able to breathe cleaner air,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, in a statement on the EPA website.

This revision does not have any effect on standards for fine and coarse particle release from farms and other sources. That standard remains the same.

According to an EPA estimation, only 10 out of 3,000 U.S. counties will need to take any action in order to meet this standard by 2020. Efforts already in motion will be sufficient for the rest of the counties.

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