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E-M:/ FW: Sierra Club Statement on New Standard for Soot

Enviro-Mich message from "Rita Jack" <rita.jack@sierraclub.org>

Michigan, FYI, EPA's announcement and URL is also below.  ~~Rita 

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian.OMalley@sierraclub.org [mailto:Brian.OMalley@sierraclub.org]

Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 12:29 PM
To: sierraclub-news-releases@lists.sierraclub.org
Subject: Sierra Club Statement on New Standard for Soot

December 17, 2004

Brian O'Malley, 202-675-6279, 202-744-8487 (cell)


          Statement by Nat Mund, Air Quality Expert, Sierra Club

"Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced which communities
falling short of health based standards for soot pollution.  The EPA is
giving communities a diagnosis - but rather than offering a real cure,
are prescribing snake-oil.

"Communities deserve to know if airborne soot poses a local health risk
and they also deserve clean, safe air as soon as possible.  Instead, the
Bush administration and some Congressional leaders are actively working
promote legislation that would allow the dirtiest facilities to pollute
more - for longer - than they would if the existing Clean Air Act was
strongly enforced.

"The health problems caused by soot will not be solved unless states get
help from the federal government to curb the pollution coming from
America's oldest and dirtiest coal fired power plants.  The technology
exists today to reduce soot pollution, and the current Clean Air Act has
the tools to get the job done. Unfortunately, the Bush administration
shown no willingness to enforce the law."

                                   # # #

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 12:45 PM
To: 'Rita Marie Jack'
Subject: EPA National News 2003 Particle Pollution Report Shows Major
Improvements in Air quality


National News 	 

2003 Particle Pollution Report Shows Major Improvements in Air Quality

Contact: John Millett 202-564-7842 / millett.john@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - December 14, 2004) Levels of fine particle
pollution, also known as PM 2.5, were the lowest in 2003 since
nationwide monitoring began in 1999, according to an EPA report released
today. The improved air quality can be largely attributed to EPA's Acid
Rain Program, along with other programs that reduced emissions that
contribute to fine particle formation.

The report, "The Particle Pollution Report: Current Understanding of Air
Quality and Emissions through 2003" looks at recent and long-term trends
in air quality and emissions, explores the characteristics of particle
pollution in the United States, and takes a close look at particle
pollution in 2003 (the most recent year for which data are available).

Since 1999, monitored concentrations of PM2.5 have decreased 10 percent
and are about 30 percent lower than EPA estimates of levels 25 years
ago. Concentrations of PM10 have declined 7 percent since 1999 and 31
percent since 1988. Monitored levels of both particles decreased most in
areas having the highest concentrations. 

Airborne particle pollution is a mixture of solid particles and liquid
droplets found in the atmosphere. These particles come in many sizes and
shapes and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals. PM2.5 and
PM10 refer to the size of the particles. PM 2.5, or "fine particles,"
refers to particles less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers --
approximately 1/30th the size of the average human hair. These particles
can penetrate into the deeper regions of the body's respiratory system.
Fine particle exposure has been associated with a number of serious
health problems, ranging from the aggravation of asthma and the
development of chronic bronchitis to heart arrhythmias, heart attacks
and even premature death. 

While the Agency's report shows that concentrations of PM have declined,
millions of people still live in areas of the country where particle
pollution exceed levels established to protect public health. EPA is
taking a number of steps to address particle pollution, including the
implementation of the Agency's first fine particle standards, the Clean
Air Nonroad Diesel Rule, and finalizing the proposed Clean Air
Interstate Rule (CAIR). 

The "Particle Pollution Report" is posted at:
http://www.epa.gov/airtrends . To learn about upcoming attainment and
nonattainment designations for the fine particle standard, visit:
http://www.epa.gov/pmdesignations/ .

R235 ###

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