Proposed Standards for Air Quality Criticized

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Proposed Standards for Air Quality Criticized

By Juliet Eilperin

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 21, 2005; Page A10

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said he has decided to maintain the current annual standard for fine particulate matter, or soot, while reducing the daily soot limit from 65 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 35. The annual air standard would remain unchanged at 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

The proposal -- which is subject to public comment for three months and would not become final until September 2006 -- fell short of what the EPA's scientific advisory board proposed earlier this year. That group suggested lowering the annual fine particulate level to 13 or 14 micrograms per cubic meter, and setting daily exposure level to between 30 and 35 micrograms.

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