Air pollution control (21 - 30 of 128 items)
Clean Air Act: EPA Should Improve the Management of Its Air Toxics Program
GAO-06-669: Published: Jun 23, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 2006.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) most recent data indicate that 95 percent of all Americans face an increased likelihood of developing cancer as a result of breathing air toxics--pollutants such as benzene and asbestos that may cause cancer or other serious health problems. Sources of air toxics include large industrial facilities, smaller facilities such as dry cleaners, and cars and t...
Particulate Matter: EPA Needs to Make More Progress in Addressing the National Academies' Recommendations on Estimating Health Benefits
GAO-06-992T: Published: Jul 19, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 2006.
Scientific evidence links exposure to particulate matter--a widespread form of air pollution--to serious health problems, including asthma and premature death. Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) periodically reviews the appropriate air quality level at which to set national standards to protect the public against the health effects of six pollutants, including parti...
Air Pollution: Estimated Emissions from Two New Mexicali Power Plants Are Low, but Health Impacts Are Unknown
GAO-05-823: Published: Aug 12, 2005. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 2005.
Power plants emit pollutants that have been linked to various negative health effects. In 2003, two new power plants, owned by Sempra Energy and Intergen, began operations 3 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border near Imperial County, California. The county does not meet some federal and state air quality standards and may be further impacted by the emissions from these plants. Although these plant...
Environmental Justice: EPA Should Devote More Attention to Environmental Justice When Developing Clean Air Rules
GAO-05-289: Published: Jul 25, 2005. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 2005.
Executive Order 12898 made achieving "environmental justice" part of the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies. According to EPA, environmental justice involves fair treatment of people of all races, cultures, and incomes. EPA developed guidance for considering environmental justice during the development of rules under the Clean Air Act and other activiti...
Gasoline Markets: Special Gasoline Blends Reduce Emissions and Improve Air Quality, but Complicate Supply and Contribute to Higher Prices
GAO-05-421: Published: Jun 17, 2005. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 2005.
The Clean Air Act, as amended, requires some areas with especially poor air quality to use a "special gasoline blend" designed to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and requiring the use of an oxygenate such as ethanol. In less severely polluted areas, the Act allows states, with EPA approval, to require the use of other special blends as part of their e...
Clean Air Act: EPA Has Completed Most of the Actions Required by the 1990 Amendments, but Many Were Completed Late
GAO-05-613: Published: May 27, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 2005.
While air quality in the United States has steadily improved over the last few decades, more than a hundred million Americans continue to live in communities where pollution causes the air to be unhealthy at times, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Clean Air Act, first passed in 1963, was last reauthorized and amended in 1990, when new programs were created and changes we...
Clean Air Act: Emerging Mercury Control Technologies Have Shown Promising Results, but Data on Long-Term Performance Are Limited
GAO-05-612: Published: May 31, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2005.
In March 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule that will limit emissions of mercury--a toxic element that causes neurological problems--from coal-fired power plants, the nation's largest industrial source of mercury emissions. Under the rule, mercury emissions are to be reduced from a baseline of 48 tons per year to 38 tons in 2010 and to 15 tons in 2018. In the rule, EPA s...
Clean Air Act: Observations on EPA's Cost-Benefit Analysis of Its Mercury Control Options
GAO-05-252: Published: Feb 28, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2005.
Mercury is a toxic element that can cause neurological disorders in children. In January 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed two options for limiting mercury from power plants, and plans to finalize a rule in March 2005. The first would require each plant to meet emissions standards reflecting the application of control technology (the technology-based option), while the secon...
Natural Gas Flaring and Venting: Opportunities to Improve Data and Reduce Emissions
GAO-04-809: Published: Jul 14, 2004. Publicly Released: Aug 13, 2004.
Since 1995, the average price of natural gas in the United States has almost tripled as demand has grown faster than supply. Despite this increase, natural gas is regularly lost as it is burned (flared) and released into the atmosphere (vented) during the production of oil and gas. GAO was asked to (1) describe flaring and venting data and what the federal government could do to improve them; (2)...
Clean Air Act: Key Stakeholders' Views on Revisions to the New Source Review Program
GAO-04-274: Published: Feb 2, 2004. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 2004.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) program to control industrial emissions have drawn attention from state and local agencies that implement the program, as well as industry and environmental and health groups. Under the revisions, companies may not have to install pollution controls when making some facility changes. GAO was asked to obtain the opinions...