Panel formally calls for stronger PM standards

Source: BY MATTHEW CHOI, Politico • Posted: Monday, March 21, 2022

EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee on Friday formally sent Administrator Michael Regan their recommendation that he strengthen the national air quality standard for fine particulate matter. As in their February draft, all seven members agreed that the current annual standard for fine particulate matter, or PM2.5 — left unchanged by the Trump administration at 12 micrograms — “is not sufficiently protective of public health and should be lowered.”

The panel continued to split on exactly where it should be set, with a majority citing a range of 8-10 micrograms and a minority calling for a range of 10-11 micrograms. In addition, a majority of CASAC members called for strengthening the 24-hour PM2.5 standard from 35 micrograms down to a range of 25-30 micrograms (along with some wonky advice on how EPA calculates exposures over that period). EPA is expected to propose revised standards later this year and finalize them sometime in 2023.