The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed updates to the standard for soot. The EPA proposal brings the annual standard down from 12 micrograms per cubic meter to a level between nine and 10.
Clean Wisconsin Energy Manager Ciaran Gallagher said that’s still far short of what’s needed to protect peoples’ health. “The proposed lower standard from the EPA is better but doesn’t improve the air quality here in Wisconsin which is why that we felt the need to propose an even lower standard.”
Stronger @EPA soot pollution limits could prevent nearly 150 premature deaths every year across these Wisconsin counties: Outagamie, Waukesha, Grant, Eau Claire, Milwaukee and Dane.https://t.co/V0q71MDDwo
— Clean Wisconsin (@CleanWisconsin) February 27, 2023
Soot is fine particulates linked to asthma, heart disease and even premature deaths. “In Wisconsin the communities most impacted by this type of pollution include counties with larger urban areas like Milwaukee and Dane,” Gallagher said. “This pollution comes from cars and trucks but also from power plants and industries.”
Gallagher said six Wisconsin counties – Outagamie, Waukesha, Grant, Eau Claire, Milwaukee and Dane – could see improved health outcomes with a stronger standard.