Ozone Reduction Strategies
The Clean Air Act provides the framework for national, state, tribal, and local efforts to protect air quality. Improvements in air quality are the result of effective implementation of clean air laws and regulations, as well as efficient industrial technologies. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA has a number of responsibilities, including:
- Conducting periodic reviews of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the six common pollutants that are considered harmful to public health and the environment.
- Ensuring that these air quality standards are met (in cooperation with the state, tribal, and local governments) through national standards and strategies to control air pollutant emissions from vehicles, factories, and other sources.
- Ensuring that sources of toxic air pollutants that may cause cancer and other adverse human health and environmental effects are well controlled and that the risks to public health and the environment are substantially reduced.
The Clean Air Act requires states with areas that fail to meet the NAAQS to submit state implementation plans (SIPs) to EPA. These plans must provide for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the primary and secondary NAAQS established by EPA under Title I of the Act.
State, local and tribal agencies could benefit greatly from employing innovative, voluntary actions along with required regulatory actions to meet their clean air goals. Programs like "ozone action days" on which drivers and businesses voluntarily take actions to reduce their emissions that form ground-level ozone ‑‑ may be more cost-effective than the prescriptive measures required in nonattainment areas. Such actions may benefit air quality not only where they are taken, but also in downwind areas that may be affected by declining air quality.
Innovative programs educate citizens about their role in contributing to air pollution and the role they can play in reducing it. By incorporating voluntary actions alongside regulatory actions a state may meet their ozone reduction attainment goals more quickly and with stronger community support.
Ozone Reductions Strategies provides you with links to partners who are already experiencing success with their voluntary ozone reduction programs. It will also lead you to the State Implementation Plan website which will take you step-by-step through the regulatory process.