RELEASE: Stronger Standards on Soot Pollution Are Critical for Public Health and Environmental Justice
Washington, D.C. — A new column from the Center for American Progress urges the Biden administration to develop stronger soot pollution standards to improve public health and protect environmental justice communities.
Despite years of progress in curbing pollution, the column notes that air quality in the United States appears to be declining, and more Americans are living in counties experiencing unhealthy spikes in air pollution.
Two years ago, the Trump administration refused to create stricter standards for soot, ignoring evidence that current standards are outdated and inadequate. The Environmental Protection Agency’s current review of the national ambient air quality standards provides an opportunity for the agency to institute stricter air quality standards.
The column reviews evidence finding that soot is linked to hospitalization, serious health complications, and premature death. Differences in soot exposure deepen racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities.
“We need stricter federal soot standards to force local authorities to improve air quality in the most-polluted communities,” said Jill Rosenthal, director of Public Health Policy at CAP and co-author of the column. “Urgent action is needed to avoid premature deaths and protect the planet.”
“This is an opportunity for the Biden administration to build on its landmark climate, jobs, justice, and clean energy investments by addressing the historical injustices of pollution from the fossil fuel industry harming environmental justice communities,” said Auburn Bell, policy analyst for Energy and Environment Policy at CAP and co-author of the column.
Read the column: “Stronger Standards on Soot Pollution Are Critical for Public Health and Environmental Justice” by Sarah Millender, Auburn Bell, and Jill Rosenthal
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