By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory and legal issues, ARTBA 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) April 14 announced a proposal to retain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter. The agency noted that the current standards are sufficient, stating particulate emissions have fallen by more than 30 percent since 2000.

ARTBA has urged EPA to revise the NAAQS process, noting that the standards are frequently tightened before they can be attained and given a chance to work by counties, essentially “moving the goalposts in the middle of the game.” ARTBA has also pointed out that the transportation improvements endangered when a county is found to be out of compliance are often essential to reducing congestion and improving air quality. Counties that fail to meet the NAAQS can lose federal highway funding.

ARTBA will support EPA’s proposal once it is published in the Federal Register. There will be a 60 day comment period.