The Environmental Protection Agency on May 1 said it will propose stricter air-quality standards for lead for the first time in 30 years. The proposal would tighten the lead limit from 1.5 micrograms per cu m of air now to between 0.10 to 0.30 micrograms per cu m. After a 60-day comment period, EPA plans to publish a final rule by mid-September.

EPA says airborne lead emissions are down nearly 98% since 1980, but some 1,300 tons of lead still are emitted into the air annually, mainly from such sources as metal mining, smelters and cement-making facilities. Andy O’Hare, Portland Cement Association’s vice president for regulatory affairs, does not expect that the proposal will have a major impact on the cement industry.