Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Air District, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Public Health today discussed the urgent need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate and update the federal air pollution standard for fine particulate pollution, also known as PM 2.5.

Spare the Air Status

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it would not be reevaluating the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for fine particulate matter. This action flies in the face of recent health and scientific studies as well as the World Health Organization air quality guideline values.

The EPA’s own Integrated Science Assessment, dated December 2019, includes a vast amount of studies that identify PM 2.5 as a significant public health threat, indicating the need for further study and lowering the air standard for this air pollutant.

Preliminary studies indicate those recovering from COVID-19 may be more susceptible to health impacts from current PM 2.5 levels in the air.

The Air District will submit comments to the U.S EPA prior to the June 29 deadline recommending the agency re-evaluate the PM 2.5 air quality standard. Comments regarding this important health standard can be sent via email to and reference Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0072.

Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese interviews can be requested by calling Kristina Chu at 415-519-5397.

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Last Updated: 5/14/2020