EPA tightens rules on Fine Particulate Matter

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a rule to tighten limits on fine particulate matter.

In a statement, the EPA said that it was pressing ahead with plans to tighten the current Clean Air Act limit for the contaminant, which is produced by burning fossil fuels from the current limit of 12 micrograms per cubic meter, down to 9 micrograms per cubic meter.

The move marks the first time since 2012 that the federal government has cracked down on fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, which is produced by internal combustion engines in heavy machinery such as construction trucks, as well as smokestacks and power plants.

Image: Adobe Stock

“PM2.5 is a pollutant of great concern to those with asthma or lung disease and already overburdened and vulnerable communities including many communities of colour or low-income communities throughout the United States,” the EPA said in a statement released this week.

It said the move would avoid up to 45,000 premature deaths and 800,000 avoided cases of asthma symptoms by 2032.

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