According to the American Lung Association’s 2012 State of the Air report, the Pittsburgh metro region’s air still ranks as the sixth most polluted in the nation for both daily and annual particle pollution, also known as soot or PM 2.5. While these rankings are an improvement over past years, they reflect that more work must be done to improve our region’s air quality.
To protect our health, and decrease our risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and asthma, the EPA should adopt stronger daily and annual soot pollution standards that will protect our region from breathing dangerous and deadly pollutants.
The annual soot pollution standard is the level of pollution which our air, averaged over a year, must be under. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to review the annual standards for soot pollution, known as the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM2.5, every five years to ensure that they are set at levels that protect the public health. In June, the EPA proposed to set the annual standard at a level within the range of 12-13 micrograms per cubic meter (12-13 ug/m3) of air (a reduction from the current standard of 15 ug/m3). But the EPA proposes to retain the daily standard at 35 ug/m3.
Join us in calling on the EPA to set stronger soot pollution standards that protect the health of our children and families.
The EPA is currently accepting comments on the proposed rule through August 31, 2012.