The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued its first major regulation since the Nov. 6 election, imposing new air quality rules on soot pollution in what critics called evidence of a post-election “regulatory cliff.”
The EPA rule reduces by 20 percent the maximum amount of soot released into the air from smokestacks, diesel trucks and other sources of pollution.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the new standard will save thousands of lives each year and reduce the burden of illness in communities across the country, as people “benefit from the simple fact of being able to breathe cleaner air.”
But the new soot standard has been highly anticipated by environmental and business groups, who have battled over whether it will protect public health or cause job losses.
The American Petroleum Institute warned Friday that the new rule “is unnecessary and could drive up costs for new and expanding businesses trying to hire employees.”