The decision to
tighten the restrictions on pollution from small particles, commonly referred to as soot, comes as a reversal of the Trump administration, which decided in 2020 to maintain a less stringent standard.
In 2032, the first year that states will be required to meet the standard, the rule is expected to prevent up to 4,500 premature deaths, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said.
EPA also projects that 99 percent of U.S. counties would reduce their pollution to the levels required under the rule with or without the agency’s action — as other policies are also shifting much of the country away from polluting vehicles and energy sources.
But areas that will not already meet the new standard will have to bring down their pollution levels — through state-led policies like requiring emitters to install pollution control technology — to meet the requirements.
A spokesperson for the agency told The Hill via email that many counties projected to exceed the standards are highly and densely populated, so pollution reductions there will impact many people — resulting in significant health benefits.
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