EPA To Tighten Soot Pollution Standards

WASHINGTON (December 14, 2012)--The Obama administration will impose new air quality standards in the first major regulation since the election aimed at reducing the maximum amount of soot released into the air from smokestacks, diesel trucks, buses and other sources by 20 percent.

The Environmental Protection Agency will announce the new standard Friday, meeting a court deadline in a lawsuit by 11 states and public health groups, according to an official briefed on the rule, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The new annual standard will be 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, down from the current 15 micrograms per cubic meter.

Environmental and business groups have battled over whether the new standard will protect public health or cause job losses.

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