The state of Vermont is among eleven across the country that successfully pushed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to tighten standards for airborne soot.
The new standards announced by the EPA last week will reduce by 20 percent the maximum amount of soot released into the air from smokestacks, diesel trucks, buses and other sources.
The EPA’s Friday ruling met a court deadline in a lawsuit by Vermont, 10 other states and public health groups.
The new annual standard will be 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, down from the current 15 micrograms per cubic meter.
Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell says particulate pollution can cause serious health problems.
Environmental and business groups have battled over whether the new standard will protect public health or cause job losses.