On June 2, 2010 the E.P.A. revised the standard for sulfur dioxide (SO2). It is establishing a "new 1-hour standard at a level of 75 parts per billion (ppb)." The old standard of 140 parts per billion over 24 hours and 30 parts per billion over an entire year has been revised. Pulp mills are notorious for their SO2 smell. Even newer pulp and paper mills will have difficulty meeting the new standards. It will be even more difficult, if not impossible, for old pulp mills such as the Samoa Pulp Mill.
Business interests may scream and complain, but environmental regulations are going to get more and more strict as the impacts of pollution worldwide become more obvious.
According to the E.P.A., "The revised standard will improve public health protection, especially for children, the elderly, and people with asthma. These groups are susceptible to the health problems associated with breathing SO2." "EPA estimates that the revised standard will yield health benefits valued between $13 billion and $33 billion, including reduced hospital admissions, emergency room visits, work days lost due to illness, and cases of aggravated asthma and chronic bronchitis, among other benefits."