U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today issued the following statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposal to set newer, more protective national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) pollution.
"For decades, we have seen soot-causing air pollution lead to serious health problems across our country. The science is clear--our nation's clean air standards are not strong enough to protect many downwind and disadvantaged communities, like those I represent in Delaware, from fine particulate matter air pollution. Fortunately, EPA is finally taking action to strengthen these clean air standards. I commend the agency for following the science and putting forward a proposal to better protect our health and economic wellbeing."
Senator Carper has long called for more protective NAAQS for PM. In April 2020, Carper condemned the Trump administration when it announced that it would not develop newer standards. In June 2020, Senator Carper led Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and then-Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), in a letter urging EPA to pursue stronger standards. In December 2020, Carper again criticized the agency under the Trump administration for failing to protect Americans from PM pollution.