Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Clean Air and Nuclear Safety subcommittee, issued the following statement reacting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) final update to its national air quality standards for harmful fine particle pollution (PM 2.5), including soot, setting the annual health standard at 12 micrograms per cubic meter:
"Every year, scientists and medical professionals learn more about the unintended consequences of air pollution on our health and our environment. We've known for decades that particle pollution from sources like old coal plants and old diesel engines contaminate the air we breathe and cause damage to our lungs, causing significant health problems --including death -- for millions of Americans annually. In recent years, we've realized that even small amounts of harmful particle pollution can make us sick. Fortunately, today the Environmental Protection Agency announced a new, revised national public health standard for fine particles in our air. By setting a new health standard for our states to meet, this revised rule makes public health protections for Delawareans and all Americans even stronger. At the same time, this rule does not regulate coarse particles - known to many as farm dust. I commend the Environmental Protection Agency for following the direction of Congress by using the best medical and environmental science available to set health standards that protect all Americans from dangerous air pollution."