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and, in turn, the agencies need the support and cooperation of these groups.
Your group should know the status of air pollution control in your community. What has been done to remedy air pollution problems? What remains to be done? What emission reductions are needed to meet national ambient air quality standards? This information should be available from your State and local control agency, for they either had such information or assembled it in order to prepare the implementation plan submitted to EPA.
With this background information, your group is ready to begin.
qualified personnel. (One citizen group sparked a study of its agency's salary scale, found it was below national averages and campaigned successfully to upgrade salaries.)
Your citizen group should use every possible technique to assure that public officials at all levels of government provide adequate funds and staff for control agencies. The best-written laws and regulations are useless if money and staff are not available to enforce them. And enforcement is the name of the game.
Know the law
Fight for funds How much money and staff do your State and local control agencies have to work with? How much do they need? The control agency itself is the best source for this information and is usually happy to provide it. In fact, the State implementation plan submitted to EPA spells out the resources available to the State and local agencies. The plan also lists the additional resources the agencies need over the next five years and how much the agencies expect to receive. EPA's comments on the State plan may contain useful information on budget needs.
One of your group's fundamental missions should be to see that the State and local governments provide adequate funds and staff to enable the control agencies to do their jobs. This means making sure that appropriations for the agencies get high priority in your State legislature and in your city or county council. This means making sure that you learn whether your Governor and local government executive release appropriated funds for the agencies. This means making sure that your State complies with Federal requirements so that it can get its full share of money that Congress provides to help State and local control agencies.
This also means making sure that your control agencies establish salary levels high enough to attract and keep
The EPA-approved State implementation plan specifies the legal powers the State has to enforce the plan. EPA's comments on the plan may suggest certain changes and improvements in State laws. Your citizen group should know what's expected and what changes, if any, need to be enacted by your State legislature.
In brief, State law must give your State agency authority to:
1. Adopt emission standards and limitations and any other measures necessary to attain and maintain national ambient air quality standards.
2. Enforce applicable laws, regulations and standards and seek injunctions, if necessary, to do so.
3. Take emergency action to prevent substantial endangerment to health in the event of an air pollution episode.
4. Prohibit the construction, modification or operation of any stationary source of air pollution if its emissions will prevent national air quality standards from being achieved and maintained.
5. Obtain all information necessary to determine if air pollution sources are in compliance with laws, regulations and standards. This includes requiring polluters to keep certain records and empowering the State agency to inspect and test pollution sources.
6. Require factories, power plants and other stationary sources of air pol
lution to monitor their emissions and report the nature and amounts of emissions to the State agency. The State agency must be empowered to make this monitoring information available to the public.
In addition, if a State's plan for controlling air pollution includes inspecting and testing motor vehicles, other transportation control measures or land-use controls, and if the State agency is not yet empowered to do these things, the implementation plan must spell out the State's timetable for enactment of these laws.
Your citizen group should be as familiar with these State laws as are the control agency and polluters. Without
this knowledge, you cannot determine what can be done, what must be done and what new laws may be needed to improve air pollution control.
You should also be familiar with the administrative procedures used by State and local control agencies to enforce regulations. Streamlined procedures, with an adequate legal staff, can enhance the effectiveness of the pollution control program.
In brief, your objective should be to see that your control agency has adequate legal powers and manpower—and uses them.
If all else fails
While the Clean Air Act gives States the main responsibility for bringing the air we breathe to healthful and safe levels, the Act also provides that EPA may take action if the States do not. For example:
EPA may, after a 30-day notice, issue an administrative order or take civil action against anyone violating the requirements of an implementation plan. Criminal penalties for knowing violations range up to $25,000 a day and one year in prison for the first offense, and up to $50,000 a day and two years in prison for subsequent violations.
EPA may enforce all or part of a State plan if a State is not willing or able to do so.
And EPA may seek emergency court action to stop pollution if an air pollution episode threatens "imminent and substantial endangerment" to public health.
Use the state plan Your State's approach to air pollution control can take several forms, depending on specific problems in your area. Your group should be thoroughly acquainted with your State's control strategy. It's detailed in the State implementation plan approved by EPA, and it's discussed by EPA in its comments on your State's plan. Your State's control strategy must provide whatever emission reductions are necessary to reduce air pollution to the safe levels established by EPA in the national air quality standards. For instance:
The State plan may call for changes in industrial processes. It may regulate the siting of new factories. It may limit the use of certain fuels. It may involve tax incentives to encourage pollution control. It may call for eliminating what economists call “disincentives,” such as tax laws that discourage pollution control. It may involve changes in traffic flow, banning automobiles from certain sections and encouraging greater use of mass transit instead of private cars.
But in most areas, a key air pollution control strategy will be direct limits on emissions from specific sources of pollution. And the heart of this strategy is the compliance schedule that your State is required to negotiate with each major polluter covering the six air pollutants for which national ambient air quality standards have been established.
Use your influence to see that compliance schedules require speedy but reasonable progress toward the ultimate goal of reducing emissions so that standards are met.
All available information from the control agency and the polluter-except for trade secrets-should be subject to public scrutiny. Is the best available technology being used to abate pollution? Will it be installed fast enough? And will it meet emission standards? Is the compliance schedule clear-cut with firm deadlines for action?
The public should have access to this information. The public has a right to influence agreements reached by the control agency and polluters. If a polluter is being recalcitrant, let the public know. Public opinion can
help strengthen the control agency's negotiating position. It is the public, after all, that bears the cost of air pollution and its control.
Your group should obtain and study
Check source compliance
schedules A source compliance schedule negotiated by your control agency with a polluter is, in essence, a contract or agreement between the polluter and the public. It commits the polluter to reduce emissions over a specified period of time.
Each compliance schedule that allows more than one year for final implementation must provide legally enforceable "increments of progress"-steps that will be taken to insure compliance by the final deadline. Typically, a compliance schedule should contain:
• A deadline date for the polluter to submit a final air pollution control plan to the control agency.
• A date or dates for the polluter to sign contracts for the purchase of emission control systems or process modifications.
• A date or dates for the beginning of on-site construction or installation.
• A date for the completion of the new construction or process modification.
• A date for final compliance. (One kind of compliance schedule is shown in Appendix B, but some States may use a different format.)
Some control agencies have already negotiated source compliance schedules with polluters. Those that have not, must do so and submit them to EPA for approval.
When approved by EPA, a source compliance schedule becomes part of the State's implementation plan for meeting the national air quality standards.
Under EPA regulations, each State is required to hold a public hearing before adopting a compliance schedule and submitting it to EPA. The State is also required to give at least 30 days' public notice of the hearing and to make the proposed compliance schedule available for public evaluation and comment in adequate time for the public hearing.
Your group should urge your control agency, to negotiate the required compliance schedules as quickly as possible.
One question that's often raised and often confused is the difference between an air quality standard and an emission limitation or standard. As source compliance schedules and other control methods are put into effect, it's important to understand the difference.
An ambient air quality standard is a limit on the amount of a given pollutant permitted in the air around us.
An emission standard or limitation is the maximum amount of the pollutant that may be discharged from a specific source.
Thus, emission standards or limitations in source compliance schedules are used to achieve national ambient air quality standards.
each proposed compliance schedule prior to the public hearing. If you deem it adequate, you may want to prepare comments supporting it. If, in your opinion, it is inadequate, you should recommend changes and improvements. And if you wish to participate in the public hearing, your group should inform the control agency in advance that you plan to testify. Some States require that you request permission to testify or at least notify the agency in advance, so it can plan the agenda, reserve an appropriate meeting room, etc. In any event, your group should give notice of your intention to participate as a matter of courtesy and cooperation with the control agency.
Subject to EPA approval, a State may use its own procedures to meet the public hearing requirements of the Clean Air Act. States may use a “public meeting" when feasible and appropriate instead of a more formal "public hearing” which in some States is rigidly and legally defined. But whether at a "public hearing" or a "public meeting", citizens must be allowed to participate, must be given adequate advance notice and must have advance access to the proposal to be considered.
(Incidentally, your group may ask that the control agency's public hearings be scheduled for evenings or weekends to permit maximum citizen participation. Schedule your own meetings on evenings or weekends for the same reason.)
Once negotiated, signed and approved by EPA, compliance schedules become yardsticks to measure actual progress toward cleaner air. Your group should know the deadlines in the compliance schedules and check to see if those deadlines are met. Your group should report to the public periodically on this, with praise for progress and criticism for failure.
Except under certain conditions, EPA requirements prohibit a control agency from granting any variance or exception to a compliance schedule if it would prevent or interfere with attaining and maintaining a national air quality standard within the time specified in
the implementation plan. If a proposed change in a compliance schedule is likely to prevent the polluter from achieving compliance by the final deadline, the control agency must hold a public hearing. And once again, the control agency must give adequate notice of the hearing and the proposed change.
Your group should arrange to be notified in advance of all public hearings held by your control agency, should routinely monitor those hearings, and when necessary, should participate.
Because a compliance schedule becomes part of a State's implementation plan, any variance or change must be approved by EPA. In fact, any revision in any part of the implementation plan must be approved by EPA.
A State itself may want to revise its implementation plan as it gains experience with it, of course. But your group should keep in mind that EPA requires that State plans be revised under certain conditions. For example: if EPA revises a national air quality standard, the States must revise their plans accordingly. If better methods of attaining national standards are developed, the States may be required to revise their plans to take account of these new or improved methods. And if EPA finds that a State plan is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain a national standard, the State must revise and improve its plan.
Keep in mind, too, that before making any revision in their implementation plans, the States are required by the Clean Air Act to give public notice and hold public hearings, as they did before adopting their original plans.
The number of compliance schedules negotiated by each State will depend on the number of major sources of pollution. If there are many in your area, your group-unless it is large enough to oversee all or most of them should focus on those that will do the most to assure that national standards are met on time. A good guide to the major pollution sources in your community is the emission inventory available from your control agency. The control agency
can advise your group on which major sources need the most attention.
EPA requires that a compliance schedule designed to meet a primary standard must do so “as expeditiously as practicable,” but not later than three years after it's approved by EPA. Certain exceptions are permitted; these are discussed on Pages 10–11.
• Requiring fleets of taxis, buses, trucks, government cars, etc., to convert to less polluting gaseous fuel systems (liquefied petroleum gas, liquefied natural gas, etc.)
• Using land-use controls to govern the location of new highways, parking areas and developments likely to contribute to dense traffic, with consideration of community air quality built into those decisions.
Approximately 34 heavily populated metropolitan regions in 18 States are considering transportation controls to achieve the national air quality standards.
Citizen groups in regions where transportation controls are required should become familiar with their control agency's proposals, should take part in public hearings on those proposals and should help muster public understanding and support for adequate control plans so they can be implemented on schedule.
Citizen groups should also obtain the results of transportation studies that EPA is conducting in several cities in cooperation with State and local control agencies.
The Federal-State campaign for cleaner air includes controlling air pollution from motor vehicles. This involves two approaches.
First, the Clean Air Act requires manufacturers to reduce emissions from new cars and trucks to prescribed low levels by 1975 and 1976. In some densely populated metropolitan areas, with heavy concentrations of motor vehicles and chronic traffic congestion, however, motor vehicles will still cause a serious air pollution problem even when car and truck emissions are brought down to Federal standards.
In these areas, a second approachtransportation controls—will be needed to reduce air pollution from motor vehicles. Such controls could include:
• Reducing the total number of cars on streets and highways by banning street parking, increasing parking fees, graduating parking fees and tolls according to the number of passengers per vehicle and other incentives to carpooling
• Speeding traffic flow by converting some streets and highways to one-way roads, setting up express lanes for commuter buses and staggering working hours to curb rush-hour traffic volume.
• Improving public transportation by upgrading present systems or developing new mass-transit facilities.
Requiring emission control devices on older cars.
• Testing and inspecting motor vehicles to make sure emission control devices are operating properly, and prohibiting the use of vehicles that fail such tests.
The State's implementation plan contains other aids that your group can use to see how the plan is being enforced. For example:
EPA requires a State agency to submit quarterly reports on air quality and semiannual reports on progress under the implementation plan. These reports will provide a measure of progress toward cleaner air. They must be made available to the public. Your citizen organization could obtain them, evaluate them and help make the public aware of the information they contain.
EPA requires a State agency to obtain from polluters whatever information is necessary to determine if they are in compliance. The State agency is required to inspect and test pollution sources. It must also require polluters to monitor and report on their own emissions. This information must also