EPA proposes tighter limits on soot
By Maria Amante email@example.com/648-3072 June 15, 2012 9:42PM
Updated: July 17, 2012 12:53PM
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed changes to air quality standards, reducing the amount of soot allowed in the air from 15 micrograms per cubic meter to a range of 12 to 13 micrograms per cubic meter.
In a statement, the EPA said it believes 99 percent of counties in the country will satisfy its requirement.
However, it’s up in the air as to whether the state will comply or object to these new standards, Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokesman Rob Elstro said.
“We’re gonna have to evaluate it — we really don’t have a reaction right now, it’s still in preliminary phases,” he said.
Still, using the tightened standard, Elstro said, the entire state would be in compliance with the EPA’s proposed recommendation.
The EPA classifies soot as “harmful fine particle pollution.” Those microscopic particles can “penetrate deep into the lungs and have been linked to a wide range of serious health effects, including premature death, heart attacks and stroke.
Federal court mandated the EPA to update the standard, which the agency is required to do every five years.
“(The) EPA makes these new requirements for the standards every so often,” Elstro said. “We provide feedback during the planning process and crunch numbers on which areas may be impacted and may not be attainable.”
Depending on the final level of the standard, implementation could cost between $2.9 million and $69 million, with an estimated savings between $88 million and $5.9 billion a year, an estimated savings between $30 and $86 saved for each dollar invested in pollution control.