The Environmental Protection Agency tightened the nation’s soot standards by 20 percent recently, a move that will force communities across the country to improve air quality by the end of the decade while making it harder for some industries to expand operations without strict pollution controls, reports Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post. The new rule limits soot, or fine particulate matter, which stems from activities ranging from burning wood to diesel vehicle emissions and which causes disease by entering the lungs and bloodstream, causing inflammation. This fine particulate matter ranks as the country’s most widespread deadly pollutant. “These are not just numbers or abstract concepts,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Families across the country will benefit from the simple fact of being able to breathe cleaner air.” Soot is also a greenhouse gas, since its dark color absorbs heat, and when wafted from the temperate zone to the Arctic, where it settles on white ice, speeding ice melt. A 20% decrease will make little difference. Replacing fossil fuels with clean energy will be far more effective.
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EPA tightens soot rules by 20 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency tightened the nation’s soot standards by 20 percent Friday, a move that will force communities across the country to improve air quality by the end of the decade while making it harder for some industries to expand operations without strict pollution controls. Washington Post
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