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AIR. The Clean Air Act and Controlling Air Pollution. History of Legislation. Original CAA of 1955 predates the EPA by 15 years It authorized technical and financial assistance to states Amendments were made in the 60’s, in 1970, 1977, and most recently in 1990. 1960’s Amendments.

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The Clean Air Act and Controlling Air Pollution

history of legislation
History of Legislation
  • Original CAA of 1955 predates the EPA by 15 years
  • It authorized technical and financial assistance to states
  • Amendments were made in the 60’s, in 1970, 1977, and most recently in 1990
1960 s amendments
1960’s Amendments
  • Amendments in the 60’s granted federal authority over vehicle emissions
  • In 1970 requirements for national standards of ambient air quality were established NAAQS – w/ separate standards for new cars & stationary sources
1970 amendments
1970 Amendments
  • In 1970 air toxics were added as a new category of pollutants not covered under the original standards
  • The National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants or NESHAP
  • Substances included arsenic, asbestos, benzene, beryllium, mercury, radionuclides, radon 222, and vinyl chloride
state requirements 1970 title i
State Requirements – 1970, Title I
  • States were required to draw up state implementation plans – SIPs
  • SIPs or State Implementation Plans are a collection of regulations a state will put into place to achieve the goals of the CAA
  • These detail how ambient air standards would be met in each “air quality control region”
The plan must include an inventory of all present sources and operating standards for all new development

The EPA oversees the individual states’ plans and will take over enforcement if the state’s plan is unacceptable

1977 1990 amendments
1977 & 1990 Amendments
  • The 1977 amendment stated that new facilities could be built in an area that was not meeting standards if existing sources could reduce their pollution
  • The original act was just 50 pages long
  • The 1990 amendments are close to 800 pages!
The 1990 amendments addressed new issues such as acid rain emissions and moves to preserve the stratospheric ozone layer
  • It established a system of tradable emission credits
criteria air pollutants
Criteria Air Pollutants
  • Primary standards – maximum ambient concentrations for the protection of the public health
  • Secondary standards – levels acceptable to protect the public welfare
  • Not meeting the EPA’s primary standards
  • 90 million Americans, 35% of the population live in nonattainment areas (mostly in urban areas)
levels of nonattainment
Levels of Nonattainment
  • Range from marginal to extreme
  • Set for each of the criteria air pollutants
  • The EPA tailors cleanup plans to the severity of the problem and sets goals that must be met or even stricter requirements will be enforced
  • When a company wants to expand
  • The effect of new pollution sources must be offset by reductions elsewhere within the company or somewhere in the nonattainment area
title ii mobile sources
Title IIMobile Sources
  • Cars produce 60-80% less pollution than they did in the 1960’s
  • However, automobiles still release over half of the smog-forming VOC’s and nitrogen oxides
  • Motor vehicles emit 90% of the CO found in urban air
more cars on the road
More Cars on the Road
  • In 1970 Americans traveled 1 trillion miles
  • Today we drive 4 trillion miles a year
  • Public transportation and car pooling have not been embraced by the general population
Removing lead from gasoline actually increased the amount of VOC’s released
  • Pollution control devices, added to cars in 1970, were only designed to function for 50,000 miles
new solutions in 1990
New Solutions in 1990
  • Cleaner fuels
  • Auto inspection requirements
  • Removing sulfur from diesel fuel
  • Reformulated fuels with less VOC’s such as benzene
  • Oxygenated fuels in cold areas to aid in more complete combustion
Detergents in gasoline prevents build-up of engine deposits which hamper efficient operation
  • Development of alternative fuel sources such as alcohol, liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas
  • Vapor recovery nozzles at gas stations
title iii air toxics or hazardous pollutants
Title IIIAir toxics or hazardous pollutants
  • Benzene is released by motor vehicles
  • Area emitter - Many small stationary sources include gas stations, paint shops and dry cleaners
  • Major emitter - Chemical factories and coal-burning power plants are considered large stationary sources
title iv acid rain
Title IVAcid Rain
  • Coal burning power plants in the Midwest and the Northeast are the primary source
  • Coal from these regions has a much higher sulfur content
  • Under Title IV, plants must have continuous emissions monitoring systems
A system of emission allowances has been imposed
  • These allowances can be traded or sold nationwide
  • Bonus allowances are given to companies installing clean coal technology or using renewable energy sources
title v permit program
Title VPermit Program
  • Permits are required by all major sources of air pollution and some smaller polluters, both for operating plants & new plants
  • They include information on the type of pollutants emitted, how they’re controlled and how they will be monitored
  • The EPA has the authority to fine violators
title vi stratospheric ozone
Title VIStratospheric Ozone
  • 1978 – propellants in aerosol can were banned
  • 1990 – schedule set for the phasing out of ozone-destroying chemicals
  • The EPA has issued allowances for these substances in the mean time
Recycling and labeling of these materials is required
  • Service and maintenance of car air conditioners is strictly regulated
  • New substitute products are being tested before being put into use
title vii
Title VII
  • Covers enforcement provisions
title viii ix
Title VIII - IX
  • Miscellaneous topics
  • Greenhouse gases
  • International issues
  • Disadvantaged business concerns
sampling and analysis of emissions
Sampling and Analysis of Emissions
  • Ambient monitoring data allows us to see trends in air quality over time
  • Provides baseline information
  • Helps in developing computer models
  • Help predict potential episodes
Source emissions data is used to evaluate compliance
  • Determines whether equipment is efficient and effective
  • Hazardous pollutants are monitored at their source under the provisions of the NESHAPs standards
monitoring process
Monitoring Process
  • Two parts – sampling and data management
  • Sampling methods depend on the pollutant, its physical state and its expected concentration
  • Concentrations are measured in mass per unit volume, usually micrograms per cubic meter or ug/m3
  • Checking and adjusting of instruments to insure quality control
  • Comparing readings with a known standard
quality assurance
Quality Assurance
  • Specific guidelines for analysis, calibration and calculation are listed as appendices of CFR 40 Part 50
  • The EPA publishes a three volume Quality Assurance Handbook
  • Agencies are required to provide a daily air quality index report in all urban areas with at least 500,000 people
the gravimetric approach
The Gravimetric Approach
  • Manual method used to measure particulate matter
  • High volume method - catches material in a filter as it is drawn in by a blower
  • The filter is weighed before and after
Lead is collected in a similar fashion
  • But must be separated from other particulates by dissolving it from the other particulates using acid
  • The lead content of the solution is determined using an atomic absorption spectrometer
carbon monoxide measurement
Carbon Monoxide Measurement
  • An automated method involving a infrared spectrometric principle
  • CO absorbs infrared radiation at characteristic wavelengths
A sealed reference cell is compared to a sample cell through which the air passes
  • When CO is present, it absorbs the radiation and the change is detected electronically
  • An automated method which involves gas phase chemiluminescence, chemical reactions that produce light
  • Air is drawn through a tube containing ethylene which reacts with ozone emitting light that can be detected by a photomultiplier tube
nitrogen oxide
Nitrogen oxide
  • Detected in the same way as ozone
  • But a different gas, ozone is used to create the reaction
where samples are taken
Where Samples are Taken
  • Is not specified in the Federal Reference Methods
  • Downwind – upwind
  • Proximity to trees, buildings and roadways
new sources
New Sources
  • Where construction begins after the EPA publishes standards in the Federal Register
  • The New Source Performance Standards, or NSPS, apply to specific sources
  • The type of pollutants to be monitored, the allowable concentrations, kinds of monitoring required and the reference method used
isokinetic sampling
Isokinetic Sampling
  • Velocity of the gas at the sampling probe nozzle is the same as the velocity of the gas stream in the stack
grab technique
Grab Technique
  • Measures the volume of a sample by taking it at only one location, during one short continuous period of time
integrated sampling
Integrated Sampling
  • Takes samples from different locations over an extended period of time that is not necessarily continuous
continuous sampling
Continuous Sampling
  • Measuring a sample continuously using a source emission monitor
air pollution control techniques
Air Pollution Control Techniques
  • Equipment, processes or actions to reduce air pollution
  • In serious nonattainment areas the Best Available Control Technology, BACT, will be required
  • The Maximum Achievable Control Technologies, MACT, are required for sources emitting hazardous pollutants
process change
Process Change
  • Changing to low sulfur fuel
  • Reformulated gasoline
  • Alternative energy sources
  • Housekeeping and maintenance
emission allowances
Emission Allowances
  • An allowance is the limited authorization to emit one ton of SO2
  • They can be traded or banked for future use
  • Traded on the Chicago Board of Trade
They are not a license to violate federal or state standards
  • Companies without sufficient allowances are fined $2000 per ton for their excess emissions and will lose one allowance for each during the next year
  • The bubble policy allow sources to be grouped to determine compliance
control equipment for gaseous emissions
Control Equipment for Gaseous Emissions
  • Adsorption
  • Absorption
  • Condensation
  • Combustion
  • Allowing the pollutant molecules to become attached to a solid surface like activated charcoal
  • Can be regenerative or non-regenerative
  • Dissolving of a gaseous pollutant in a liquid solvent
  • Spray towers, spray chambers, Venturi scrubbers and packed columns all maximize the opportunity for gas-liquid mixing
  • Gas or vapor is changed into a liquid by cooling or an increase in pressure
  • Temperature reduction is the most cost effective
  • Combining a combustible material with oxygen producing heat and light
  • Equipment includes flares, thermal incinerators and catalytic incinerators
removing particulates
Removing Particulates
  • Efficiency of devices is calculated by taking the difference in the weight of particles in the air before and after, divided by the weight of particles when entering
  • Control devices include settling chambers, cyclones, wet scrubbers, electrostatic precipitators, and fabric filters installed in a bag-house