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U.S. EPA Fiscal Year 2011-2015 EPA Strategic Plan Released

Posted: October 18th, 2010

Author: All4 Staff 

On September 30, 2010, U.S. EPA released the Fiscal Year 2011-2015 EPA Strategic Plan (Plan). Goal 1 of the Plan involves climate change and air quality. Goal No. 1 is consistent with the direction that U.S. EPA has taken over the past several years regarding national air quality policy. In recent years, regulatory changes regarding air quality have come at a rapid pace and include new, more restrictive National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2); mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; regulation of GHGs under major New Source Review (NSR) air permitting rules; more expansive and more stringent Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources (NSPS) for certain source categories; additional sources (major and area) subject to National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP); and more stringent standards for certain source categories already subject to NESHAP rules. The difficult news for regulated entities is that the recent air quality regulatory trend will likely continue for the next several years. 

Based on the Plan, U.S. EPA anticipates additional regulatory activity around GHG emissions that could include GHG standards for marine, aircraft, and non-road equipment (e.g., locomotives); implementation of new permitting requirements for sources of GHG emissions that encourage design and construction of more energy-efficient processes; and the development of mitigation strategies for black carbon (e.g., soot) emissions. Note that the current attention towards GHG emission has not dampened the momentum associated with air quality regulation in general as U.S. EPA is planning for new ozone, particulate matter (PM), and carbon monoxide (CO) NAAQS; developing a Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) replacement rule (i.e., the Transport Rule); integrating Environmental Justice policy and air quality regulations; continuing the development of technology-based standards to reduce emissions of air toxic compounds (i.e., NESHAPs); and continuing to pay special attention to certain industry “sectors” including petroleum refining and cement manufacturing. 

A copy of the Plan can be accessed here.


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