11 States Sue EPA Over Delayed Soot Pollution Standards – Yahoo! News.
According to Reuters, 11 states filed a lawsuit in a Manhattan federal court on Friday demanding the Environmental Protection Agency review clear air standards for nationwide soot pollution. The lawsuit was prompted after the EPA missed an October deadline for the review. Under the Clean Air Act, the federal agency is required to review clean air standards for pollutants every five years and update the National Ambient Air Quality Standards accordingly.
Here are some facts about soot pollution in the U.S., the health impacts, and the lawsuit itself:
* The Associated Press reported the eleven involved are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
* Soot pollution comes from diesel burning vehicles and power plants and is linked to respiratory illnesses and disease, heart disease, asthma, and impaired lung function.
* The EPA has responded to the lawsuit and said it was continuing to work on proposing the revised and updated standards, noted the New York Times.
* The Obama administration has faced opposition from the GOP and industry representatives who claim that such standards would increase the cost of energy and be detrimental to economic growth in the country.
* ABC News reported the states with the largest number of deaths related to particulate pollution include Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Florida, and Illinois.
* Young children, the elderly, and those with already-existing respiratory problems are the most at-risk in terms of soot pollution.
* A report from Environment California lists California as having the worst rate of soot pollution in the U.S. with the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario area ranked as the worst among metro areas.
* California’s poor performance in terms of soot in the air is attributed to the state’s power plants, diesel burning vehicles, and a growing population.
* Soot is considered particulate matter, a known air pollutant that can range in size from “fine” particles (less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) and “coarse” particles, which are larger, noted the Clean Air Trust.
* Because of how small soot particles are, often times soot can travel hundreds of miles downwind from the original pollution source.
* According to a report from the American Lung Association, Clean Air Task Force, and Earthjustice, up to 35,700 premature deaths and 2,350 heart attacks could be avoided each year if the EPA tightened its standards on soot.
* Additionally, the economic benefits of reducing soot exposure are estimated to be as much as $281 billion every year.