Houston Looks Good in Soot

HOUSTON LOOKS GOOD IN SOOT Publicizing ozone problems is a smart strategy for Houston, because the city gets to be compared to L.A.! But that’ll get all mucked up if we have to start paying attention to particle pollution too. Fortunately, that isn’t happening quite yet: “In 2006, the EPA lowered the limit on how much soot Americans can be exposed to in 24 hours from 65 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 35. But the agency left unchanged the annual limit — an average of 15 micrograms per cubic meter per day over the course of a year. The agency’s science advisers recommended an annual standard as low as 13 micrograms to protect public health. Since then, Houston’s year-round levels of particles have worsened, averaging about 15 micrograms per day for each year. But the region remains in compliance because the EPA doesn’t plan to look at the cities violating the annual standard until it’s lowered again.” [Houston Chronicle]