Biden’s EPA Prepares To Clamp Down On Industry With New Soot Pollution Limits

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Jack McEvoy Energy & Environment Reporter
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday proposed a new rule that will further clamp down on industrial activity that produces fine particulate matter, or soot.

Fine particulate matter “disproportionately” harms minorities and other “vulnerable populations,” and enters the atmosphere when power plants, construction operations and other industries burn fossil fuels, according to an agency press release. The EPA aims to limit the average amount of soot particle pollution to 9 to 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air, toughening the current standard by up to 3 micrograms. (RELATED: The EPA’s Latest Regulation Could Devastate The Trucking Industry)

“Our work to deliver clean, breathable air for everyone is a top priority at EPA, and this proposal will help ensure that all communities, especially the most vulnerable among us, are protected from exposure to harmful pollution,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

The EPA will consider setting the allowance on soot emissions on a range as low as 8 and as high as 11 micrograms per cubic meter of air. If the agency manages to limit particulate matter emissions to 9 micrograms per cubic meter, up to 4,200 annual premature deaths would be prevented and the nation would save up to $43 billion in net health care costs by 2032, according to the press release.

CASTLE DALE, UT – OCTOBER 9: Emissions rise from the smokestacks of Pacificorp’s 1440 megawatt coal-fired power plant on October 9, 2017 in Castle Dale, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Soot exposure can weaken the heart, exacerbate asthma and other lung conditions and make it more difficult to breathe, according to the EPA. The World Health Organization recommended that governments restrict soot emissions to 5 micrograms per cubic meter of air in order to significantly cut the amount of “premature death attributable to outdoor air pollution.”

“This proposal to deliver stronger health protections against particulate matter is grounded in the best available science, advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to scientific integrity and a rigorous scientific process,” Regan said.

In December, the EPA cracked down on nitrogen dioxide emissions coming from trucks in order to “protect historically overburdened communities” from pollution and push truck drivers to adopt electric vehicles.

The EPA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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