The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) announced yesterday that it is proposing to retain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards (“NAAQS”) for fine particulate matter (“PM2.5″) and course particulate matter (“PM10”). The public comment period for this proposed action will be 60 days from the date that the Proposed Action is officially published in the Federal Register.
According to the USEPA press release, during the span of 18 years between 2000-2018, the average PM2.5 concentrations have decreased by 39 percent and the average PM10 concentrations have reduced by 31 percent.
The Clean Air Act, technological advancements and operational innovation of sustainable measures by businesses are contributing factors in these pollutant reductions. Considering the substantial growth the U.S. has experienced during that 18-year period in its economy (as shown in the chart below) and its population, which saw an increase of 9.7 percent between 2000-2010 alone, these reductions in particulate matter pollutants are a testament to how far the U.S. has come in its commitment to improving air quality since the establishment of the NAAQS via the Clean Air Act as amended in 1970.