US keeps air pollution standard established under Obama

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. environmental regulators are leaving intact an air quality standard for power plant pollution that can worsen asthma in children, despite calls by health advocates for a tougher standard.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday it will retain the standard for sulfur dioxide pollution established in 2010 under President Barack Obama.

Sulfur dioxide comes from burning coal to produce electricity and from other industrial sources.

The American Lung Association and other groups had urged EPA to lower the amount of pollution allowed. They say the existing standard puts millions of people at risk of asthma attacks.

The American Petroleum Institute argued that the rules were overly stringent and wanted them relaxed.

Sulfur dioxide emissions dropped sharply in recent decades due to pollution restrictions and declining use of coal.

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