Carnegie Mellon University
October 07, 2019

Fearing science pushed aside, experts meet in protest of EPA's air quality change

A group of 20 air quality experts, organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists and panel chair H. Christopher Frey, an engineering professor at North Carolina State University, met on Thursday to discuss the EPA’s new air quality changes. The individuals on the panel were recruited years ago to draw up health-based recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on fine particulate matter. The group was unexpectedly disbanded last year, but it’s participants have remained undeterred and have continued on with their work and will submit their recommendations to the EPA anyways.

Peter Adams, professor in the departments of Engineering & Public Policy and Civil & Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, joined the group and voiced his concerns relating to fine particulate matter.

Mr. Adams called fine particulate matter, or soot with particles measuring 2.5 microns, “arguably the single most important [air pollutant] because most of the health impacts and damage that come from air pollution come from pm-2.5.” 

Particulate matter is one of six major air pollutants governed by the National Ambient Air Quality Standardsand has long been a concern in Pittsburgh, with the American Lung Association listing the region’s air quality among the lowest in the country year after year.