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The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed revisions to its national standards for pollution from fine and some coarse particles. But the American Petroleum Institute thinks the agency might be considering revisions before fully determining impacts of its original fine-particle standards.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed revisions to its national standards for pollution from fine and some coarse particles. But the American Petroleum Institute thinks the agency might be considering revisions before fully determining impacts of its original fine-particle standards.

EPA issued a fine-particulates standard in 1997 that was fully implemented only in 2003, according to Edward H. Murphy, general manager of API’s downstream industry segment.

‘We’re concerned. We don’t think the science justifies it,’ he said of the revision proposal that EPA announced on Dec. 21, 2005.

‘The perceived benefit could have impacts on consumers at the same time there’s concern over domestic refining capacity. It’s too soon to tell the full impact of the 1997 standards,’ Murphy said.

EPA said it based its proposal on a review of thousands of scientific studies of risks associated with particle-pollution exposure. It added it would assess significant new studies before the proposed revisions were finalized.

Its proposed revisions include strengthening public short-term exposure to fine particles (which are 2.5 µm in diameter and smaller) over 24 hr by nearly 50% from 65 µm/cu m to 35 µm/cu m.

The agency is seeking comments on a range of annual and 24-hr standards, including proposals to strengthen them and to keep them at current levels.

EPA also proposed revising the standard for coarse particles to apply to those that are 2.5-10 µm in diameter. It would retain the level of 70 µm/cu m from industries and from high-density traffic on paved roads.

The agency will take comments on the proposals through Mar. 22. It also plans to hold public hearings in Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

Source : ogj.pennnet.com

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