The EPA and How You Can Help Keep Your Air Clean

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The EPA is a government agency responsible for regulating the air we breathe in the United States. Under the Clean Air Act, the agency issues permit to emit greenhouse gases and enforces national air quality standards. It also regulates pollution from power plants. You can learn more about the EPA by reading this article. Here are some ways you can help keep your air clean:

EPA administers the Clean Air Act

The EPA is the government agency that regulates the emissions of various pollutants. The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate these pollutants, which can include mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, benzene, and volatile organic compounds. The agency has established National Emission Standards for these pollutants (NESHAPs) and area sources. Under the Clean Air Act, mobile sources are also required to meet emission standards. For example, the EPA regulates the composition of fuels and emission control components for motor vehicles. Refiners and other parties in the fuel distribution chain must meet these standards.

EPA issues permits for emissions of greenhouse gases

As a part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations, large stationary sources of these pollutants must obtain permits under the Clean Air Act’s Title V operating permit program or the PSD program. The proposed rules also amend the Clean Air Act’s permitting thresholds to include GHG emissions, ensuring that facilities can obtain permits for these gases as soon as 2011.

EPA enforces national air quality standards

National ambient air quality standards are set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These standards are based on the effects of specific pollutants. EPA has the authority to regulate certain toxic and hazardous air pollutants, as well as particulate matter. These standards set emission limits and control technology requirements for these pollutants. In many areas, EPA standards are more stringent than state and local regulations. To learn more about the federal government’s enforcement of national air quality standards, read on.

EPA regulates pollution from power plants

EPA recently proposed an update to rules that regulate pollution from power plants. The goal of the rule is to improve the air quality of the communities affected by pollution. The new rules require power plants in 12 states to reduce smog-forming emissions of nitrogen oxides, which cause unhealthy air conditions in downwind communities. The increased levels of ground-level ozone in the air can aggravate asthma and cause health issues, resulting in emergency room visits and premature deaths.

EPA enforces new source performance standards

New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) are federal emission standards for stationary sources. They apply to new, modified, and reconstructed sources and are based on technology. They set emission limits based on energy requirements, non-air quality impacts, and cost. They are frequently controversial, especially when comparing BAT (best available technology) to the costs and effectiveness of NSPS. If you have a source that is not compliant with NSPS, you should check whether you need to comply with the standards or not.

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