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Regulating Fine Particles

Developing a new paradigm for managing fine particulate air pollution.

Fortnightly Magazine - February 2012

in reducing the concentrations of carbon-containing compounds subject to regulation. In the event that a carbon standard were proposed, EPA would need to conduct ambient air monitoring to comprehensively characterize concentrations nationwide in an effort to identify those areas of the country that would be out of compliance. Ideally, extensive monitoring would be undertaken early in the process and would consider several alternative measures of carbon-containing particles. This information would aid health studies and better inform those who decide on the need and form of regulations.

Development of a new paradigm to establish a strong health-based ambient air quality standard for PM and its components has extensive informational needs that could require several years to satisfy. However, the potential for more effective protection of public health warrants a comprehensive assessment of this issue.