Particulate Matter Has Not Clouded My Crystal Ball

Last month, I noted that EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards had released a draft reassessment of the particulate matter NAAQS.  In a bold moment of speculation, I indicated that it would be difficult for EPA to avoid lowering the PM2.5 NAAQS to between 8.0 and 10.0 micrograms/cubic meter.  Following issuance of the draft, and in order to ensure that EPA does not ignore the emerging scientific consensus, the Union of Concerned Scientists helped to convene the Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel to review the draft. 

And what is the mellifluously named IPMRP?  It’s basically the same group of scientists that used to advise EPA on these issues – also known as the same group that Andrew Wheeler determined to be surplus to requirements as far as EPA was concerned.

And what did the IPMRP decide?  According to Greenwire (subscription required), the IPMRV:

will likely recommend that the primary annual standard for exposure to fine particulates be cut from 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air to somewhere between 8 and 10 micrograms per cubic meter.

I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em.

One final note.  The scientists certainly seem to know who their real audience is.  Greenwire also reported that:

Though agency leaders may not pay heed to their findings, the panel members are optimistic that federal judges will listen.

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