The outgoing Trump administration is leaving in place an air quality standard on particle pollution.
“Particle pollution, which is also sometimes called soot, can be detrimental to lung health as well as overall cardiovascular health,” said Donna Wininsky with the American Lung Association of Wisconsin.
Soot from coal-fired power plants and vehicle tailpipes disproportionately impacts low-income and minority communities.
“Low income people and communities of color live in housing that frequently is close to industrial areas, it’s close to interstates and freeways,” Wininsky said. “And with the diesel pollution that is emitted by large trucks as well as by stationary sources like factories, we know that they’re bearing a disproportionate burden.”
The Lung Association, environmental groups and Environmental Protection Agency scientists have been advocating for a new, stricter standard. “And we certainly hope that the Biden administration will make changing those standards a high priority,” Wininsky said.
The Trump decision is one of several at the Environmental Protection Agency the Trump administration is rushing to finalize ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s January inauguration. Wininsky said this is especially ironic — this month marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act.