Contact: Mollie Michel, email@example.com, 718.536.6336
Washington, DC — Today, in a move that will help restore health-protective and science-based pollution protections, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will reexamine national standards for particle pollution under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter. In December 2020, the Trump administration finalized “do-nothing” standards for particle pollution, declining to strengthen national standards despite robust scientific evidence that they are not strong enough to protect people from the grave and potentially deadly impacts of breathing this form of pollution.
In response to EPA’s announcement, Molly Rauch, Public Health Policy Director for Moms Clean Air Force, issued the following statement:
“Particle pollution is a major killer, responsible for tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. Even at levels that are well within the current, too-weak, national standards, particle pollution also causes asthma attacks, preterm birth, low birth weight, dementia, heart attacks, stroke, and a host of other serious health conditions. That’s why we are relieved that EPA is planning to reexamine these standards, with the goal of fixing a major health blunder of the previous administration.
“Particle pollution comes from coal plants, factories, diesel engines, and other industrial activities as well as agriculture and wildfires. Those most vulnerable to its harms include children, babies, pregnant women, older adults, and people who have underlying health conditions such as asthma. Black and brown Americans are exposed to significantly higher levels of particle pollution, making it one of the most potent examples of environmental racism.
“Moms know that we can and should do much more to protect children and families from the terrible health burden of particle pollution. That’s why we are encouraged by EPA’s important step. We urge EPA to finalize science-based, health-protective standards for particle pollution as soon as possible. It is also important for EPA to reexamine standards for ground-level ozone, or smog, another health-harming air pollutant from which the prior administration refused to protect our families. All families have the right to breathe clean air. Stronger soot and smog standards are a long-overdue step toward accomplishing that goal.”