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13 US States Sue EPA to Lower Permissible Level of Airborne Particles

Thirteen U.S. states have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over soot emissions. The states say the federal government has failed to set air quality standards that could prevent some 24,000 premature deaths each year from respiratory disease and asthma attacks.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Washington, says the EPA ignored science and its own experts when it refused to reduce the allowed threshold for soot from 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 13.

An EPA spokeswoman says that where the science was clear, the agency took clear action.

Sources of soot include automobiles, power plants, factories and wood fires.