Official Statement on EPA’s Announcement of the New Standard Limiting Soot Pollution

Feb 7, 2024 | Policy Statements | 0 comments

Black Millennials 4 Flint Applauds EPA for Standing up to Industry

Washington, DC – Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made a historical announcement of their finalized version of the standard updating the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM 2.5), also known as soot pollution. This tightened standard will reduce harmful pollution and clean up our air. It will save lives, improve public health outcomes including reducing cases of asthma and frequency of hospital visits, and cut down on missed work and school days resulting from these health challenges. 

A 2022 report by the American Lung Association (ALA) found that 63 million Americans live in counties that experience unhealthy daily spikes in soot pollution, and 21 million live in counties that exceed annual limits for soot pollution.

This updated soot pollution standard will improve air quality from coast to coast and start to address historic inequities and injustices, including cleaning up the air in communities of color, fenceline communities, and lower-wealth areas already overburdened by pollution. By issuing this stronger soot pollution standard, the Biden administration is taking an important step forward to clean up our air and protect public health. 

With this update, EPA is tightening the standard for soot pollution from a level of 12 micrograms per cubic meter to 9 micrograms per cubic meter. In 2032, this means:

  • Preventing up to 4,500 premature deaths
  • 5,700 cases of new asthma onset and 800,000 cases of asthma symptoms
  • 2,000 emergency room visits
  • 290,000 lost workdays
  • And yielding up to $46 billion in net health benefits in 2032

“It’s a sigh of relief that EPA and the Biden-Harris Administration listened to our call to action to create the strongest standards on soot pollution in history”, said LaTricea D. Adams, Black Millennials 4 Flint Founder & CEO and White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council Appointee. These new rules will work to better protect the wombs of Black, Latinx and Indigenous women, our first environments, leading to healthier births with automatic freedom and access to breathe clean air.”

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About Black Millennials 4 Flint:
Black Millennials 4 Flint is a national, grassroots civil rights and environmental justice organization that aims to unite like-minded organizations to advocate collectively against the crisis of lead exposure and environmental justice in disadvantaged communities across the nation.

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