Manufacturers and utilities that emit sulfur dioxide may soon fall under tighter regulation, as the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new rules that set hourly requirements on emissions, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Currently, emissions standards are based on annualized or 24-hour averages and do not take into account the sort of short-term peaks that often accompany manufacturing and utility operations.
The American Lung Association hailed the proposal as particularly beneficial for people with asthma. The ALA is hoping the EPA adopts the most stringent limit – 50 parts per billion – under consideration.
“The American Lung Association had taken legal steps in the past to push EPA to protect against these spikes in sulfur dioxide pollution, so we are pleased that EPA has now begun to do so,” said the ALA, in a statement, adding that it supported the one-hour standard as well as keeping the existing annual standard.
The new standard would be applied at local levels, not at the national level, meaning that individual manufacturing plants or utility plants could come under closer scrutiny.