Advocates Push for Tougher Air Pollution Standards

Advocates Push for Tougher Air Pollution Standards

WBEZ brings you fact-based news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.
Local health and environmental advocates are pushing for tighter air pollution standards nationally.

They’re testifying today at a hearing in Chicago held by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Brian Urbaszewski is with the American Lung Association. He says tighter standards would trigger air quality warnings sooner.

“For someone, like, with asthma, on a day when they know that the air pollution levels are high, they can make sure that they have the appropriate medications, they can limit physical activity, they can search out air-conditioned areas so that they don’t stress their bodies,” he says. “That prevents people from winding up in the emergency rooms and in hospitals.”

Urbaszewski says while it’s good to shoot for lower air pollution levels, Chicago must first meet the existing standards.

Electric power companies are against lower standards for air pollution.

A spokesman says the industry is working to comply with restrictions implemented just last year.

He says the EPA should allow those regulations to take effect before adding more.