(Image Source: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg)

BY CHRISTIAN BRYANT

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set stricter standards Friday to stomp-out soot pollution and improve air quality in communities across the nation.

According to The New York Times, the new regulations are based on health studies that show “exposure to fine particles — in this case measuring 2.5 micrometers in diameter — brought a marked increase in heart and lung disease, acute asthma attacks and early death. Older people, adults with heart and lung ailments and children are particularly susceptible to the ill effects.”

The EPA acted under a court order requiring 99-percent of U.S. counties to meet the standards by 2020, or face penalties — like the loss of transportation funding.

The agency says an estimated 66 counties in eight states aren’t in compliance with the new rule, including metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, Houston, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the EPA estimates the soot reduction will save the nation’s health care system $4 billion to $9 billion. The price tag for the the new regulations will cost companies anywhere from $53 million to $350 million annually.

But despite environmental advocates praising the new standards for the lives it will save over the next decade, critics say the change will come at a cost and our economy will be footing the bill.

A writer for the Christian Science Monitor references an October 2012 report from the Republican Minority staff of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Critics of new regulations said: "As the nation struggles to recover from a lagging economy in the coming year, Americans could also be grappling with a regulatory onslaught from the Obama-EPA that will strangle economic growth, destroy millions of jobs, and dramatically raise the price of goods, the cost of electricity, and the price of gas at the pump...”

According to USA Today, oil industry representative Howard Feldman said in a statement: "The existing standards are working and will continue improving air quality... We fear this new rule may be just the beginning of a 'regulatory cliff.’”

The so-called “regulatory cliff” refers to a deluge of environmental regulations that some industry officials fear are in a queue, waiting to be dumped on the manufacturing and coal industries.

The Washington Post reports the agency will determine which areas of the don’t comply with regulations in 2014. Those communities will then have six years to comply.
 

EPA Tightens Soot Rules. Will it Hurt the Economy?

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Dec 15, 2012

EPA Tightens Soot Rules. Will it Hurt the Economy?

 

(Image Source: F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg)

BY CHRISTIAN BRYANT

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set stricter standards Friday to stomp-out soot pollution and improve air quality in communities across the nation.

According to The New York Times, the new regulations are based on health studies that show “exposure to fine particles — in this case measuring 2.5 micrometers in diameter — brought a marked increase in heart and lung disease, acute asthma attacks and early death. Older people, adults with heart and lung ailments and children are particularly susceptible to the ill effects.”

The EPA acted under a court order requiring 99-percent of U.S. counties to meet the standards by 2020, or face penalties — like the loss of transportation funding.

The agency says an estimated 66 counties in eight states aren’t in compliance with the new rule, including metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, Houston, St. Louis, Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the EPA estimates the soot reduction will save the nation’s health care system $4 billion to $9 billion. The price tag for the the new regulations will cost companies anywhere from $53 million to $350 million annually.

But despite environmental advocates praising the new standards for the lives it will save over the next decade, critics say the change will come at a cost and our economy will be footing the bill.

A writer for the Christian Science Monitor references an October 2012 report from the Republican Minority staff of the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Critics of new regulations said: "As the nation struggles to recover from a lagging economy in the coming year, Americans could also be grappling with a regulatory onslaught from the Obama-EPA that will strangle economic growth, destroy millions of jobs, and dramatically raise the price of goods, the cost of electricity, and the price of gas at the pump...”

According to USA Today, oil industry representative Howard Feldman said in a statement: "The existing standards are working and will continue improving air quality... We fear this new rule may be just the beginning of a 'regulatory cliff.’”

The so-called “regulatory cliff” refers to a deluge of environmental regulations that some industry officials fear are in a queue, waiting to be dumped on the manufacturing and coal industries.

The Washington Post reports the agency will determine which areas of the don’t comply with regulations in 2014. Those communities will then have six years to comply.
 

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