On February 7, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final plan to strengthen a critical national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for soot pollution, also known as fine particle pollution or PM2.5. The finalized rule reduces the annual standard from 12 to 9 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3). Soot is primarily emitted from power plants, industrial facilities, and gas-powered vehicles. Despite the Clean Air Act requiring an update every five years, this is the first time the soot standard has been strengthened in over a decade.
In response, Tori Goebel, National Organizer and Spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action (YECA), released the following statement:
“Young Evangelicals for Climate Action celebrates this long overdue and much needed update to the critical national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for soot pollution, also known as fine particle pollution or PM2.5. Air pollution continues to endanger our health and lives, and PM2.5 is especially dangerous for the most vulnerable and marginalized communities. We cannot love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39-40) while ignoring the realities of pollution. We thank President Biden, Administrator Regan, and the dedicated EPA staff for strengthening this critical standard, and we look forward to continuing the life-saving work of reducing pollution and addressing the climate crisis.”