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NAS Report Outlines Air Quality Progress, Future Challenges

Release Date: 01/29/2004
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John Millett 202-564-7842 /

(01/29/04) - Recommending steps to steadily strengthen the nation’s clean air program in the face of anticipated challenges, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has issued a report that provides an in-depth study of EPA’s air quality management under the Clean Air Act. The report acknowledges the progress EPA has made in the implementation of the Act and the substantial air quality improvement since the early 1970s. In particular the report highlights the reductions that have resulted from the control of industrial facilities and cars and trucks, and the effectiveness of “cap and trade programs” in achieving emission reductions. The report makes a broad range of recommendations for improving the nations air quality system. Many of these recommendations reinforce the direction that EPA has been taking in recent years. For example, developing integrated multi-pollutant approaches to control pollutant emissions, and applying “cap and trade” programs to control air pollution. While the report provides a number of specific proposals for improving the air quality management system, the report points out that much of the system is good and warrants retaining. The NAS supports the gradual evolution of EPA’s program and encourages ongoing air quality management activities. The Academy acknowledges that decisions to protect public health and welfare should continue despite scientific uncertainties. EPA intends to carefully evaluate the NAS recommendations as part of continuing efforts to improve the effectiveness of the nations air pollution program. The report is available online at: .