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Ensure No Backsliding of Current Standards

Particulate Air Pollution: Ensure No Backsliding of Current Standards

January 9, 1997

New regulations must ensure that there is no "backsliding". Thus, in addition to setting new stricter standards, EPA should retain or strengthen both the current one hour ozone standard, and the existing PM10 standard. In addition, areas which currently have low PM 2.5 and ozone levels should be required to maintain those levels, and should not be allowed to "pollute up to the standard". Furthermore, communities which do not meet current standards should not be brought into compliance by loopholes in monitoring requirements (use of spatial averaging, special monitors, or 98th percentile compliance monitoring) -- these communities should at least be required to clean the air to current standards.