The Obama administration has set new limits on a deadly form of air pollution – and risked a backlash from industry early in a second term – by tightening restrictions on soot from smoke stacks and diesel engines.
The new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reduce the amount of soot released from power plants, diesel engines, refineries, and other industries.
The microscopic particles are linked to early death and higher rates of heart attacks, strokes and lung diseases, such as asthma.
The EPA administration in announcing the new standards on Friday promised sweeping public health benefits. “Families from around the country will benefit from the simple fact of being able to breathe cleaner air,” said Jackson, adding that her two sons suffered from asthma.
The rules, finalised in response to a court-ordered deadline, were strenuously opposed by industry groups and by some members of Congress, setting up the stage for heightened confrontation during Obama’s second term.
The administration is expected to roll out other pollution controls, which were put on hold in an election year.