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Air Quality: EPAńˇ╗s 2013 Changes to the Particulate Matter (PM) Standard
Robert Esworthy (au)
On Jan. 15, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule revising the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM). The revised air quality standards were completed pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA) and, in part, in response to a court order and consent agreement. Based on its review of scientific studies available since the agencyńˇ╗s previous review in 2006, EPA determined that evidence continued to show associations between particulates in ambient air and numerous significant health problems, including aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis, non-fatal heart attacks, and premature death. The Jan. 2013 revisions change the existing (2006) annual health-based (ńˇýprimaryńˇŁ) standard for ńˇýfineńˇŁ particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (or PM2.5), lowering the allowable average concentration of PM2.5 in the air from the current level of 15 micrograms per cubic meter (îÁg/m3) to a limit of 12 îÁg/m3. Contents of this report: Introduction; Background; EPAńˇ╗s Jan. 2013 Final Changes to the PM NAAQS; Review Process Leading Up to the Jan. 2013 Revised PM NAAQS; Implementing the Revised PM2.5 NAAQS; Potential Impacts of More Stringent PM Standards; Reaction to the Revised PM NAAQS; Congressional Activity; Conclusions. Figures and tables. This is a print on demand report.
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