And the People Agree!
On December 14th, the Environmental Protection Agency is set to announce new regulations on fine particle pollution, more commonly known as soot. The regulations are being released as part of a lawsuit between the American Lung Association and the EPA over the failure of the agency to issue new soot regulations as required. The regulations could have a significant impact on everything from coal plants to oil refineries to other industrial industries.
A new poll released this week by American Lung Association found that 62% of Americans want the EPA to strengthen the regulations on soot. With any luck the EPA will issues rules in line with public sentiment and enforce tighter standards on this type of air pollution, which can cause a number of health effects including heart and lung problems and even extreme death in some cases. A second study earlier this month found poor people and minorities are disproportionately likely to breath in air contaminated with soot.
Since soot can be carried through the air over long distances, its effect on the environment and human health can be significant and far ranging.
God’s command in Genesis to till and tend the earth reminds us to be vigilant in minimizing the harm we do to our environment; our values are equally compelling in our duty to do no harm to others. As a community we would welcome tighter fine particle pollution regulations.
Image Courtesy of The Center for the Environment, Commerce and Energy.