By Maria Hickey, KWMU
St. Louis, MO. – The Environmental Protection Agency Thursday announced a new air quality standard for lead.
The agency says they've tightened the rule by ten times to .15 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The current standard is 1.5.
It's the first time the lead standard has changed in 30 years.
Kathleen Logan Smith is the executive director of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. She calls it an historic day but says it came far too late.
"They get a pat on the back for standing up today, but I think we should keep in mind that the stand should have been taken decades ago," Smith said.
Smith also says the implementation of the rule in October 2011 is too long to wait.
Jefferson County, where St. Louis-based Doe Run's lead smelter is located, is the only area in the country NOT in compliance with the current EPA standard.