Let's see. Life expectancies keep increasing but the air keeps getting worse. Well the air is actually getting better. But when agencies and budgets and politics are at stake, then the only thing to do is to redefine standards to make a good situation look bad.
That seems to be what the EPA is doing, as so clearly explained by Joel Schwartz.
When it comes to "the environment" and such, most people do not dig very deeply. So when the EPA declares how bad things (will) have gotten, very few will look to see that their standards have changed quite arbitrarily.