October 30, 2019
A group of scientists assembled by the EPA to advise it on PM 2.5 pollution standards couldn’t reach agreement on whether the standards should be tightened or remain the same, a development that may complicate ongoing effort to update standards according to an October 25, 2019 Bloomberg Energy & Environment report.
The EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) was looking at the current environmental rules for PM2.5 during a two-day meeting that ended October 25th. Four of the committee’s six members believed the current rules are acceptable, while two others believed they should be lowered to better protect public health.
“We don’t have consensus,” Mark W Frampton, an emeritus medical professor specializing in pulmonary diseases and critical care at the University of Rochester, said at the meeting in Cary, N.C. HE was one of two who called for lowering the level allowed in the standard.
Chris Frey, an environmental engineering professor at North Carolina State University and the former chairman of the committee, said he thinks the committee will ultimately send EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler a letter outlining that it couldn’t come to any agreement and therefore can’t make any definitive recommendations.
The EPA said in response to queries that the process wasn’t final and there was no recommendation yet.
EPA is in the middle of a multiyear process to review PM 2.5 regulations. Its current regulations call for PM 2.5 to remain below an average of 12 micrograms for every cubic meter of air. Lowering this level could require states to force businesses to adopt new and potentially costly pollution control measures. The agency’s timeline for completing this review is sent to conclude by the end of 2020.
Frey said the level in the standard should be lowered by up to a third to reduce pollution-related illnesses. But he said the EPA has been intervening in the committee’s processes to such a degree in recent years that it’s now unable to do its job.
Frey was a part of a committee subgroup that specifically looked at the PM 2.5 issue and was disbanded by EPA Administrator Anew Wheeler last year because, Wheeler said at the time, it was m moving too slowly in providing recommendations. Frey is now part of a “shadow” group that continues to look at PM 2.5 but is no longer affiliated with EPA.
What this means to you
A group of scientists assembled by the EPA to advise it on PM 2.5 pollution standards couldn’t reach agreement on whether the standards should be tightened or remain the same, a development that may complicate ongoing effort to update standards
MIRATCH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine NOx, VOC, CO and PM emission solutions.