US administrators agree to maintain air quality limits.
A decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not to strengthen standards for particulate matter has been welcomed by many industry groups. However, environmentalists and opposition politicians have criticised the move saying that politics is being put before health.
Every five years the EPA reviews the National Ambient Air Quality Standard regulation which sets limits on the concentration of pollutants in the air. These reviews have usually resulted in standards being tightened. However a decision was taken to retain the prevailing standard.
The news followed a non-peer reviewed study from Harvard University that found more Covid-19 patients die in parts of the US where there are increased levels of fine particulate pollution. The EPA has received criticism from a number of quarters with environmentalists and health protection groups saying that particulate pollution is an important factor in dealing with Covid-19.
Several industry groups welcomed the move; saying that the US has already made significant strides in reducing particulate matter.
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