Nearly 80% of Voters Support EPA’s Stricter Standards for Particle Pollution, According to New Poll

American Lung Association releases new data highlighting voters’ opinions on stricter standards for soot pollution and related impacts on health

Today, the American Lung Association released new poll results that show voters overwhelmingly support stricter standards for particle pollution, also known as fine particles or soot. These findings come out just weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced final, stronger National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Fine Particulate Matter.

"Particle pollution kills thousands of people in the United States each year. EPA’s recent strengthening of the annual particle pollution standard will make an important difference, especially for communities near a pollution source like a power plant or a busy road,” said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “These new findings show that people overwhelmingly support stricter limits on air pollution, understand that it will benefit health, and reject the notion that doing so will have a negative impact on the economy.”

Administered by Global Strategy Group, key findings from the poll include:  

  • 78% of voters support the stricter standards for particle pollution, also known as fine particles or soot.
    • More than four in five Black voters (84%) and three in four Hispanic voters (75%) support EPA placing stricter limits on soot.
  • 77% of voters said that the new limits would have a positive impact on the quality of the air we breathe, and 73% said that it would have a positive impact on future generations of Americans. 
  • 73% of voters said that the new limits would have a positive impact on the health of families like theirs.
  • Voters reject the idea that these new standards would have a negative impact on the economy, with a plurality (38%) saying it would have a positive impact and another 34% saying it would have no impact or aren’t sure.
    • Black voters (53% positive, 19% negative) and Hispanic voters (36% positive, 26% negative) are very positive about the standards’ impact on the economy.

Even after a balanced simulated debate, which included arguments used by both proponents and opponents of the stronger soot standards, support remained strong at 68%.

“What’s more, when voters were forced to choose between pairs of statements arguing for and against the stronger standards, they overwhelmingly said they agreed more with the pro-standards statements,” said Andrew Bauman, Partner at Global Strategy Group. “An overwhelming majority of voters believe the standards will encourage innovation, job growth and new technology rather than hurt the economy.”

The poll also found that an overwhelming 83% of voters supported prioritizing standards that clean up pollution in the most polluted American neighborhoods, with strong support across party lines.

In addition, the poll also found that voters strongly support a range of other stricter emissions standards that EPA is currently considering:

  • 82% of voters support setting stricter limits on mercury and other toxic air emissions from power plants.
  • 76% support setting stricter limits on carbon emissions from new and existing power plants. 
  • 78% of voters support setting stricter limits on smog from power plants, oil refineries and other industrial facilities.

“As EPA works on its to-do list including updating mercury and air toxics standards, setting carbon limits on power plants and updating the ozone national ambient air quality standards, the administration can be assured that the public supports strong action,” Wimmer concluded.

The analysis memo from Global Strategy Group can be found online here. 

Methodology: 
Global Strategy Group conducted an online survey of 1,600 registered voters nationwide between January 29 and February 5, 2024. The survey had a confidence interval of +/- 2.5%. Care has been taken to ensure the geographic, demographic, and political divisions among registered voters are properly represented. 799 of those voters received questions related to the EPA’s new standards on soot pollution, which is the focus of this news release. Those questions have a confidence interval of +/- 3.5%. The other 801 voters received questions related to strengthening limits on carbon emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. The latter results are detailed in a separate memo.

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
312-940-7001
[email protected]

Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | Apr 17, 2024
Asthma Basics Workshop - National
, | May 07, 2024