EPA to tighten standards for soot pollution

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EPA

(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Obama administration will impose new air quality standards in the first major regulation since the election.

The new standards will reduce by 20 percent the maximum amount of soot released into the air from smokestacks, diesel trucks, buses and other sources.

The Environmental Protection Agency will announce the new standard Friday, meeting a court deadline in a lawsuit by 11 states and public health groups.

Word comes from an official briefed on the rule, speaking on condition of anonymity because it hasn’t been signed. 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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