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Environmental Jobs: EPA Introduces Tighter Soot Pollution Restrictions

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U.S. Green Technology | Where Main Street Meets Green Street

The Obama Administration withheld from introducing many new measures to clean up the environment and create more environmental jobs in 2012. It was an election year. But recently, the president unveiled plans to restrict soot pollution emitted from diesel engines and smoke stacks.

Microscopic soot particles are a threat to human health, causing issues such as asthma and other lung diseases, stroke, heart attack, and premature death. They take root in the lungs and enter the bloodstream. The elderly and children are among the most vulnerable.

The stricter air quality standards were raised after the EPA was sued by the eco-activist group Earth Justice, who wanted them to implement air standards suggested by the EPA’s own scientific advisors.

Their lawsuit was supported by groups focused on environmental jobs, and by the American Lung Association, which released a statement saying, “We know clearly that particle pollution is harmful at levels well below those previously deemed to be safe. By setting a more protective standard, the EPA is stating that we as a nation must protect the health of the public by cleaning up even more of this lethal pollutant.”

Despite studies showing that EPA regulations actually create more environmental jobs than they kill, Senate Republican James Inhofe, a climate change denier, called the new standards “an onslaught of post-election rulemakings that will place considerable burdens on our struggling economy and eventually push us over the regulatory cliff.”

The American Petroleum Institute said, “There is no compelling scientific evidence for the policy decision to develop more stringent standards. The existing standards are working and will continue improving air quality.”

While industry isn’t happy about the regulations, it’s likely they will create environmental jobs to enforce the standards, and even to implement new technologies that make processes cleaner.

By Leslie Hedrick

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