Air Pollution:

EPA Data Gathering Efforts Would Have Imposed a Burden on States

AIMD-95-160: Published: Aug 7, 1995. Publicly Released: Aug 7, 1995.

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GAO reviewed selected data collection and reporting requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, focusing on whether: (1) the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) planned state emissions reporting requirements exceed its program needs; and (2) states use the EPA Aerometric Information Retrieval System (AIRS) to monitor emissions data.

GAO found that: (1) EPA draft regulation would have required states to submit emissions data that exceeded its minimum air pollution program needs and to develop complicated pollutant databases that they could not afford; (2) EPA has since suspended the regulation and is considering alternative reporting options; (3) despite EPA intentions, 9 of the 10 heavy emission states use their own independently developed systems to track air pollution emissions; and (4) the state tracking systems are more efficient and easier to use than AIRS.

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