EPA Proposes that All Areas of U.S. Virgin Islands Meet Particle Air Pollution Standard
Release Date: 06/28/2004
|(#04104) In a letter to the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today agreed with the Territory's assessment that all areas of the U.S. Virgin Islands meet EPA's new, more stringent health-based fine particle standard. This assessment is based on levels of pollution measured from a network of monitors over the past three years. Fine particles, or PM 2.5, have been shown to cause premature mortality, aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions and contribute to cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and arrhythmia.
"This is truly good news for the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands," said Jane M. Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator. "It is important, however, that the U.S. Virgin Islands maintain the progress it has made toward cleaner air. EPA is also doing its part to reduce PM 2.5 emissions."
In a Febraury 17, 2004 letter to EPA, the U.S. Virgin Islands recommended that the entire Territory be designation as "attainment" with the new PM 2.5 standards. EPA is agreeing with that recommendation. The Agency will work closely with the Virgin Islands to ensure that the standard continues to be met and that progress will be made in even further reducing fine particle levels.
The Territory will have at least 120 days to comment on EPA's recommendations. EPA is required to make final decisions by December 31, 2004. EPA plans to make its decision in mid November in order to meet clean air goals as soon as possible. For more information about PM 2.5 pollution and today's proposed designations, visit http://www.epa.gov/pmdesignations.