Chapter 7 Outline
A. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQSs)
1. The NAAQSs are the upper limits permitted for concentrations of the six common air pollutants described earlier in the chapter.
2. The NAAQSs represent threshold concentrations above which the EPA believes the pollutant poses a significant risk to health.
3. The NAAQSs are applied uniformly across the country and must be met without consideration of costs.
B. Emissions Limits
1. The EPA sets limits on the mounts of certain pollutants that may be emitted into the atmosphere.
2. The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act require the EPA to set technology-based limits on the emissions of 189 toxic chemicals and to establish limits on emissions of substances that produce add rain.
C. Restricted Technology
1. The Clean Air Act places several restrictions on the types of technologies that may be used to achieve required pollution control standards.
D. New Source Performance Standards
1. State-of-the-art pollution control technologies are required for new sources of emissions.
2. Because these technologies are more expensive than the pollution control technologies required for existing sources of emissions, an incentive to keep old plants in operation longer has been created.
E. Prescribed Fuels
1. The Clean Air Act has established certain fuel requirements for mobile sources of pollution.
F. Offset Requirements
1. Areas that do not meet ozone and carbon monoxide standards can permit new sources of pollution only if ways are found to offset the increased pollution by reducing pollutants from existing sources.
2. The offset must exceed the addition.
G. Emissions Trading
1. A market in emission reduction credits has been developed.
2. Credits are earned by controlling pollutants to a greater degree than required by law.
3. Credits can be sold to firms seeking an offset for new sources or can be used in the context of the EPA's netting, bubble, and banking programs.
a. Netting allows a firm to add a new source of emissions at a plant if it can reduce emissions by as much, or more, from other sources in the plant.
b. The bubble program allows several sources to be grouped together and treated as a unit. Some sources in the bubble can increase emissions as long as other sources decrease emissions by an equivalent or greater amount.
c. Banking allows firms to store emission reduction credits for subsequent use.
H. Prevention of Significant Deterioration
1. In order to prevent air quality from deteriorating, areas that were cleaner than the NAAQSs when the Clean Air Act was established are also subject to regulation.
I. State Implementation Plan (SIP)
1. State pollution control agencies are responsible for ensuring that NAAQSs are met.
2. The SIP, approved by the EPA, details how these standards are to be met.
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