The Dustup Over Fine Air Pollutants

Despite industry ire, tougher EPA rules look all but certain

On Mar. 12, officials at the Environmental Protection Agency began combing through thousands of comments from corporate lobbyists, environmentalists, and state regulators on an explosive EPA proposal to strengthen the rules governing air pollution. The proposal would, for the first time, regulate emissions of some of the tiniest airborne dust particles, as little as one-seventh the width of a human hair. Industry has launched a broad public campaign to fight the new regulations, which could cost business billions of dollars.

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