As part of the Clean Air Act, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set standards related to six recognized air pollutants: particle pollution (or “particulate matter”), ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and lead. “These pollutants can harm your health and the environment, and cause property damage,” according to the EPA, which notes that particulate matter and ground-level ozone pose “the most widespread health threats.”
Particle pollution is a mixture of tiny bits of solid matter and liquid droplets in the air. The solid particles can include soot, smoke, or dirt. Some can be seen in the air, while other particulate matter may be undetectable to the human eye. In some cases, particle pollution is derived from construction sites, smokestacks, dirt roads, and fires. Other forms develop in chemical reactions in the atmosphere among materials emitted by automobiles and industries.
According to Chris Story, assistant city manager, Spartanburg is on course to be in line with federal standards regarding particulate matter. He says, however, that this form of air pollution remains a legitimate concern. “We want to continue the progress we’ve seen in reducing particulate matter” as a pollutant in Spartanburg County, Story says.
To learn more, please visit the EPA’s web site on particle pollution.
Also of interest: The Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act.