EPA replacing Bush smog limit with stricter rule - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

EPA replacing Bush smog limit with stricter rule

WASHINGTON. - The Environmental Protection Agency is setting stricter health standards for smog.
     
Hundreds more counties nationwide will likely be in violation.

The EPA says it will cost tens of billions dollars annually to reduce pollution to meet the limits.
     
Smog irritates the lungs, and can lead to asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses.
     
The stricter standards are expected to reduce emergency room visits, premature deaths and missed work and school days. The EPA said children particularly will enjoy better health.

"EPA is stepping up to protect Americans from one of the most persistent and widespread pollutants we face. Smog in the air we breathe poses a very serious health threat, especially to children and individuals suffering from asthma and lung disease. It dirties our air, clouds our cities, and drives up our health care costs across the country," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Using the best science to strengthen these standards is a long overdue action that will help millions of Americans breathe easier and live healthier."

The proposed range was what scientists had recommended during the Bush administration. However, former President George W. Bush personally intervened and set the standard above what was advised after protests from electric utilities and other industries.

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