A FAMILIAR POLLUTION
Soot or PM2.5 pollution is a dangerous and deadly pollutant that is produced by power plants, vehicle tailpipes, and other industrial sources, and threatens our health and environment—posing particular risks for children, seniors, communities of color, and people with chronic illness.
Here in Utah, this type of pollution has made our skies hazy throughout the year, with significant concentrations during our wintertime inversion season.
Exposure to, and inhalation of, soot leads to increased mortality rates, hospitalizations, and visits to the ER. It is also linked to grave illnesses and health risks including asthma attacks, heart attacks, stroke, heart disease, COPD, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, low birth weight, greater risk of preterm birth, and higher rates of infant mortality.
According to the American Lung Association, 63 million Americans experience unhealthy spikes in daily soot or particle pollution, and more than 20 million Americans experience dangerous levels of soot pollution on a year-round basis.
- How has Utah’s air quality impacted you or your community?
- How have air quality effects affected your identity (Sexual orientation, Race/ethnicity, economic status, etc.)
See more examples here.
You may submit comments identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0072, by any of the following means:
Submit comments online by visiting this link
Email: a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov. Include the Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0072 in the subject line of the message.
Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center, Air and Radiation Docket, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460.
Hand Delivery or Courier (by scheduled appointment only): EPA Docket Center, WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004. The Docket Center’s hours of operation are 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday (except Federal Holidays).
Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket ID No. for this document. Comments received may be posted without change to https://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.
Talking Points courtesy of Earthjustice and the national Climate Action Campaign.
THE EPA HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO STRENGTHEN STANDARDS
Recently the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to strengthen its outdated air quality standards for soot pollution. While this is a great step forward, the EPA’s current proposal does not go nearly far enough and fails to meet the recommendations of the agency’s own scientific advisory panel. These standards haven’t been updated since 2012, and it’s time for the EPA to set the strongest science-based soot pollution standards (no higher than 8 mcg/m3 annually and 25 mcg/m3 daily), to ensure cleaner air for families, advance environmental justice, and protect our health.
- Stronger soot standards will advance environmental justice. In the United States, people of color breathe more soot pollution, on average, than white people because communities of color tend to be co-located with sources of this deadly pollutant.
- A recent study conducted by researchers at the EPA-funded Center for Air, Climate, and Energy Solutions found that the disparity in soot exposure between White Americans and Black, Latino, and Asian Americans was consistent across the country, in rural and urban settings, and at all income levels.
- Research shows that people of color experience higher than average levels of soot exposure from power plants and industry, light-duty vehicles, diesel-powered heavy-duty trucks, and construction. Black Americans, specifically, are exposed to higher-than-average amounts of pollution from all sources, according to the EPA’s National Emissions Inventory.
- Additional research shows that soot-caused deaths and other health harms, like asthma attacks that send people to the hospital, disproportionately burden Black and Hispanic populations, as well as people living in poverty. Stronger protections against soot pollution will lessen the disparity.
TAKE ACTION- CLOSED
Thank you for providing public comment. Our team will update you on the progress of this issue.