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How new air quality standards related EPA efforts could affect areas like south Phoenix

The EPA recently issued a  new standard to lower the acceptable level of fine-particle pollutants in the air.

The agency is also working to put monitoring stations in communities that are disproportionately affected by pollution. These efforts, it says, "will advance environmental justice by ensuring localized data collection" where it's needed most.  

Health experts say the tiny particles can enter the bloodstream and cause health problems.  

The Rev. Aubrey Barnwell, pastor at First New Life Church, said his south Phoenix community could benefit from having a monitor.

“We have a point of increased risk of respiratory ailments and sadly, premature death,” he said.

The county has until the end of the year to meet the new standard.

Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.