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New EPA Standards Will Reduce the Amount of Soot in the Air

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 14 Dec 2012 07:01pm | comments
File photo: EPA Director Lisa Jackson and 2nd District Congressman Bennie Thompson

New air quality standards will soon be in place that could reduce the amount of soot released into the air by 20%.

MPB's Lawayne Childrey has more.


Soot from smokestacks, wood burning stoves even diesel trucks can cause serious health problems. That's why The Environmental Protection Agency has revised national air standards pertaining to the matter.  Speaking to reporters in a conference call Friday, EPA Director, Lisa Jackson  said  lowering the accepted levels of soot  pollution  will save the lives of millions of  Americans.


" Science shows us that microscopic particles can penetrate deep into the lung. This can lead to a wide range of serious and costly health effects including heartaches, strokes and aggravated asthma. It’s also linked to diabetes acute bronchitis and lung cancer. Exposure to fine particle pollution is estimated to cause tens of thousands of premature deaths annually."


Members of the Sierra Club of Mississippi say they welcome the new standards because of its health benefits. But Gulf Coast Chairman Steve Shepard believes more should be done.


"We certainly support the change. We probably are not gonna  be satisfied I mean we're gonna be looking for more change than this but at least it’s a step in the right direction. I would hope that we would get to a point that it was zero frankly."


Officials with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality say communities across the state are currently in compliance with the new standards.  Maya Rao, Director of the departments division of air quality says the benefits of being in compliance have a direct correlation on  economic development.


"It’s much harder for industry to locate in an area which doesn't meet the standard. And the reason is they have to a higher control and they have to offset the emissions from within the industry before they can locate in a county."


The new standards which are to take effect in 2014 are not being praised by everyone. Some business leaders say it could drive up cost for new and expanding businesses. Lawayne Childrey MPB News.


File photo: EPA Director Lisa Jackson and 2nd District Congressman Bennie Thompson



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