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New Report Shows Progress Reducing Air Pollution in Eastern United States

Release Date: 08/18/2005
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Contacts: Eryn Witcher, 202-564-4355 /
John Millett, 202-564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C.-August 18, 2005) 2004 decreases in emissions of ozone forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) signal that ozone air quality throughout the eastern US is improving. According to a new report released today, "Evaluating Ozone Control Programs in the Eastern United States: Focus on the NOx Budget Trading Program, 2004", EPA's rule, known as the "NOx SIP Call,"has yielded reductions to improve air quality for more than 100 million people. The NOx SIP Call directs 21 eastern states and the District of Columbia to reduce emissions of NOx during the summer months. All states subject to this rule chose to comply by participating in the EPA-administered NOx Budget Trading Program.

"The NOx Budget Trading Program is yet another example of how market-based trading programs are significantly reducing emissions of air pollutants," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "The NOx SIP Call and our new Clean Air Interstate Rule ensure that Americans continue to breathe cleaner air by dramatically reducing air pollution that moves across state boundaries."

The NOx Budget Trading Program was modeled after the Ozone Transport Commission's NOx Budget Program and EPA's Acid Rain Program to deliver important emissions reductions efficiently and effectively. Under this program, the report shows that power industry summertime NOx emissions have dropped significantly in 2004. Total ozone season NOx emissions from power plants and other large combustion sources were 30 percent lower than in 2003, and 50 percent lower than in 2000. The NOx reductions, when combined with other control programs have reduced ozone season NOx emissions from sources in 19 eastern states and the District of Columbia, by 70 percent below 1990 levels.

Continued NOx emission reductions are anticipated under the NOx SIP call and the Clean Air Interstate Rule, or CAIR. CAIR, issued March 10, 2005, will permanently cap power plant emissions of SO2 and NOx in 28 eastern states and the District of Columbia. In 2015, CAIR, the NOx SIP Call and other programs in the East will reduce ozone season NOx emissions by about 50 percent and annual NOx emissions by about 60 percent from 2003 levels.

The new report, "Evaluating Ozone Control Programs in the Eastern United States: Focus on the NOx Budget Trading Program, 2004" is available at: Information and background on the NOx SIP Call is available at: