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Air Pollution: Progress and Problems in Implementing Selected Aspects of Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990

T-RCED-94-68 Published: Oct 29, 1993. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 1993.
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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to implement the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, focusing on: (1) its continued difficulties in reviewing and approving state implementation plans (SIP); and (2) key provisions of the act designed to control pollution from mobile and stationary sources. GAO noted that: (1) delays continue in states' submissions of SIP and EPA review and approval of SIP; (2) EPA has initiated a number of actions to improve its oversight of the SIP process; (3) EPA has established a new operating permit program to supplement the SIP process; (4) more stringent vehicle emissions testing may not achieve the emissions reductions envisioned because of uncertainties concerning the diagnosis and repair of failed vehicles; (5) some motorists may try to avoid some repair costs and inconveniences of the new regulations and increase pollution hazards; (6) EPA is exploring several initiatives that could significantly improve air quality and reduce emissions by 47 billion pounds annually; and (7) the EPA operating permit program is underfunded and will likely affect EPA ability to ensure timely improvements in air quality from stationary sources.

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