1. AIR POLLUTION:
EPA chief touts new soot standards, dodges questions about her future
U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said today that she is "proud" of the agency's new air standards for fine particles. EPA today lowered the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for fine particles, or PM 2.5 and soot, from 15 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over a year to 12 micrograms, and she said the changes "will mean fewer expensive trips to the emergency room and extended hospital stays."