The American Lung Association in Pennsylvania released new poll results showing that a majority (78%) of voters in the state support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) setting stricter limits on particle pollution, also known as soot. The poll findings are released during the EPA’s comment period on its recent proposal to update the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Fine Particulate Matter.
“The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has historically struggled with high levels of particle pollution. In fact, both Allegheny and Lancaster counties received an ‘F’ grade for short-term particle pollution on the 2022 ‘State of the Air’ report,” said Laura Kate Bender, national assistant vice president for healthy air at the American Lung Association. “Stronger federal rules will help us clean up this harmful pollution. The American Lung Association and other health and medical organizations are calling on EPA to choose the most protective levels – 8 µg/m3 for the annual standard and 25 µg/m3 for the 24-hour standard – and finalize them. From the results of this polling, it is also clear that Pennsylvanians know the health benefits of stronger standards and supports efforts to make our air cleaner.”
Administered by Global Strategy Group, the poll findings showed that a majority of Pennsylvania voters support EPA setting stricter limits on particle pollution on both an annual and daily basis. Majorities among Democrats and Republicans favor stricter limits on air pollution.
“Support for stricter particle pollution limits is overwhelming and broad and remains robust even after voters heard simulated arguments from both sides,” said Andrew Baumann, Partner at Global Strategy Group.
Key findings from the poll include:
- 78% of Pennsylvania voters support the stricter limits on “fine particles, also called soot” on both an annual and daily basis. Even after the voters were presented with statements from supporters and opponents of this rule, a majority (68%) still agreed that the EPA should set stricter limits.
- 74% of voters support “the EPA updating standards with stricter limits on air pollution, generally.”
- More than three quarters of voters believe that stricter standards would have positive impacts on the quality of the air we breathe, future generations of Americans and the health of families.
- 66% of voters reject the idea that that stronger standards would have a negative impact on the economy and 60% reject the idea that they would have a negative impact on the cost of living.