Trump administration downplays danger of air pollution in new regulatory rollbacks

"Now, to benefit coal interests, the U.S. EPA wants to simply ignore the health impacts that occur below their self-imposed limit."

Image Credit: Greentech Media

The Trump administration will soon replace Obama-era Clean Power Plan by rolling back regulations that drastically downplays the danger of air pollution. As the White House prepares to put in place the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) plan, the Trump administration will use a new methodology to determine air pollution, which researchers said would undercut premature deaths caused by pollution.

The decades-old methodology used “a peer-reviewed methodology under which the existence of fine particles of chemicals – also known as particulate matter – in the air were found to be dangerous even if they were below the level considered to be toxic,” EcoWatch reported. So “even if the existence of particulate matter is under the safety limit of 12 micrograms per cubic meter, it can still endanger people breathing the air,” EcoWatch reported

The Trump administration’s new methodology “would assume there is little or no health benefit to making the air any cleaner” because it only considers particle matter that reaches that level to be dangerous, The New York Times reported.

“It could be an enormously significant impact,” Richard Revesz, environmental law expert, said. “Particulate matter is extremely harmful and it leads to a large number of premature deaths.”

The premature deaths that pollution causes includes respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and other conditions linked to air pollution.

With the new methodology comes even more expected regulatory rollbacks experts believe.

“Several decades of research has pointed to fine particulate air pollution being a health hazard even at low concentrations,” Robert Rohde said in a tweet. “Now, to benefit coal interests, the US EPA wants to simply ignore the health impacts that occur below their self-imposed limit.”


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Ashley is an editor, social media content manager and writer at NationofChange. Before joining NoC, she was a features reporter at The Daily Breeze – a local newspaper in Southern California – writing a variety of stories on current topics including politics, the economy, human rights, the environment and the arts. Ashley is a transplant from the East Coast calling Los Angeles home.