The COVID-19 pandemic and economic shutdown have temporarily produced clearer skies across the U.S. Meanwhile, however, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been busy finding reasons not to pursue long-lasting air quality gains.
On April 30, 2020, the agency published a proposed new rule that retains current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter without any revisions. It took this action after a five-year review process, in which scientific evidence showed unequivocally that these standards are not adequate to protect public health.
I have studied air pollution and air quality for over 30 years, and have been directly involved for a decade with EPA’s reviews of scientific findings on air pollution. This includes serving on the agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, or CASAC, and on 10 specialized panels focused on individual pollutants.
As I have