Chicago/ Weather & Environment
AI Assisted Icon
Published on April 15, 2024
Illinois AG Kwame Raoul and Coalition of 16 Attorneys General Defend EPA's Strengthened Air Pollution Standards Against Industry OppositionSource: Google Street View

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is leading the charge alongside a coalition of 16 other attorneys general in a bid to defend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's latest move to tighten the reins on air pollution, specifically by strengthening particulate matter standards, which is currently under fire from several states and industry heavyweights such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The contested EPA rule zeroes in on PM2.5—a fine, insidious soot capable of bypassing the body's defenses and wreaking havoc on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and the group of attorneys general believes this stricter standard is a critical protective measure, particularly for the vulnerable, often forgotten communities on the frontlines of pollution's assault, the lower income and ethnically diverse neighborhoods that bear an unequal share of this toxic burden.

Raoul, in his commitment to safeguarding the air and health of Illinoisans and others nationwide, remarked, "I am urging the court to uphold the EPA’s final particulate matter standards rule to protect people in Illinois and around the country from hazardous air pollution," as per a statement obtained by the Illinois Attorney General's office.

The modified rule comes as a direct response to the stark evidence that current levels of fine particulate matter do not align with the Clean Air Act's imperative for pollutant thresholds that shield public health and welfare, an obligation that comes with the legislation's mandate, it does so with a safety margin in mind—a concept seemingly disregarded by those intent on deregulation; attorney generals from states including Arizona, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and New York City are standing with Raoul in this legal tussle in favor of the EPA's rule.

For further details on the attorney general's press release, visit