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EPA's super soot salvo

Illustration of a hand holding a red marker that is drawing red lines over a smoke stack.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The EPA is tightening standards for soot, prompting loud cries from corporate America, Jael writes.

Why it matters: This form of air pollution is linked to asthma, irregular heartbeats, bronchitis and premature death.

State of play: The agency is imposing a new annualized exposure mandate for fine particulates of 9 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), down from the current 12 µg/m3 requirement, Axios Generate's Ben Geman writes.

What they're saying: Environmental groups — a key Democratic political constituency — called it an important public health move.

  • But business groups, citing steady improvements in air quality, say ratcheting down requirements again would throttle development and job growth.

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