WASHINGTON-- The comment period to weigh in on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter pollution ended Monday. Environment America submitted 12,925 public comments from members representing all 50 states and Puerto Rico, calling on the EPA to heed the recommendations of its own scientists and strengthen existing particulate matter protections.
The EPA’s current proposal opts not to strengthen the standards for both PM2.5 and PM10, which pose threats to human health. Fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, referred to as PM 2.5, poses especially high health risks because it can end up deep in the lungs.
Morgan Folger, Clean Cars Campaign director for Environment America, issued the following statement:
“Environment America has advocated for stronger clean air protections for decades, and nearly 13,000 Americans join us today in support of stronger particulate matter standards. America’s existing air quality standards are not doing enough to protect our health, but with modern science, we can do better. Environment America’s Trouble in the Air report found that particulate pollution is widespread, exposing millions of Americans to potential respiratory and other health damage. To make dirty air days a thing of the past, we need to strengthen existing air quality regulations and reduce global warming.
“We all deserve to breathe clean air. We urge the EPA to listen to scientists and protect human health.”