SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
EPA Issues New Soot Regulations
from the Christian Science Monitor
Responding to a lawsuit from 11 states, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing new air quality standards to lower the amount of soot that can be released into the air
The Obama administration, facing strong resistance from congressional Republicans and industry officials, had sought to delay the politically fraught rule until after the election, but was forced to act by a court order. Critics, including officials representing the oil and gas industry, refineries and manufacturers, complained that overly strict rules could hurt economic growth and lead to job losses.
Soot, made up of microscopic particles released from smokestacks, diesel trucks, wood-burning stoves and other sources, contributes to haze and can burrow into lungs. Breathing in soot can cause lung and heart problems.
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Extreme events, such as super floods and hurricanes, are becoming more common, so civil engineers are trying to adapt civil infrastructure such as bridges to these unpredictable and sometimes devastating meteorological events. Engineer Ana Barros discusses how engineering can prepare us for extreme weather events, but also how changing climate and population conditions can affect the ability of infrastructure to hold up over time.
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