A federal judge has given the Environmental Protection Agency one week to set standards for fine particle pollution across the United States. These are the fine particles that come out of factories, power plants and automobiles.

Paul Cort is an attorney for nonprofit Earthjustice. He argued the case.

“This rule defines what it means to have clean air that’s safe to breathe,” Cort said. “And so by setting these standards, if an area has air that doesn’t meet these standards, then they have to develop a plan to reduce emissions that contribute to the pollution problem.”

This means that the new rule probably won’t affect all industries in the same way. But if a city can’t meet the new standard, the rule could ultimately translate into regulations for industries in that particular area.

Cort says there are compelling health reasons to limit the particle pollution in the air.

“What studies have found is that these particles are small enough that they can penetrate not only deep, deep into the lungs but then cross over into the bloodstream where they are associated with all sorts of cardiovascular diseases,” he said.