WASHINGTON - The NPCA has been tracking the proposed establishment of a new Clean Air particulate matter standard for so called "PM fine," which are particles at 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller.

The current standard is set at 10 micrometers in diameter. EPA was scheduled to issue the final PM 2.5 standard in September 2006, for which the states and EPA will then develop various control technologies for its sources.

Clean-air agencies view VOC emissions as a contributory element to PM 2.5 formation. Although the scientific basis for this relationship is not firmly established, nonetheless the new lower standard still may place added regulatory pressure on VOC emissions from paint and coatings.

NPCA members are invited to contact Jim Sell at jsell@paint.org or David Darling at ddarling@paint.org for more information.