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Poll: Most voters support stricter smog standards

Sixty-two percent of voters support the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to issue stricter standards to reduce smog, according to a new poll from the American Lung Association.
 
By court order, the EPA has until Dec. 1 to propose a new national ambient air quality standard for ozone. The Clean Air Act requires new or revised standards for six pollutants — ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, lead and nitrogen oxide — every five years.
 
“Setting more protective standards is a big test for the Obama Administration,” Harold Wimmer, the American Lung Association’s national president and CEO, said in a news release.
 

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“Big polluters are already gearing up to block this critical protection through their influence in Congress. We are asking President Obama to stand strong and protect health. Clearly, the public supports these health protections.”
 
The EPA is now considering lowering the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion to a number between 70 and 60 parts per billion; health organizations have been lobbying for the lowest level standards possible.
 
The poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Perception Insight also found that 68 percent of voters supported the stricter pollution standards before hearing arguments from both sides.
 
“The poll shows that a large, bipartisan majority of American voters support a standard that will protect public health and ensure parents know the true impact of pollution on their children,” Andrew Baumann, vice president of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, said in the release.
 
“This is despite opposing language in the survey arguing that these standards will raise energy prices and kill jobs.”