Table of Contents
Air Quality Regulations
The following is a summary of the Clean Air
Act and its amendments, as contained in Title
42, Chapter 85 of the United States Code [http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/ch85.html]. This information is provided as an aide to help understand the requirements
of the federal statute, as they pertain to specific industrial or manufacturing
operations. This information is not provided nor intended to act
as a substitute for legal or other professional services. To review
the full text version of the statute, please use the highlighted link.
The Clean Air Act (CAA) (40 CFR Parts 50-99) and its amendments are
designed to â€œprotect and enhance the nation's air resources so as to promote
the public health and welfare and the productive capacity of the population.â€� While this federal clean air legislation has existed for well over two
decades, it is the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 that are currently
driving profound changes in the way American industries do business. The 1990 Amendments create an entirely new permitting program, tighten
requirements for emission controls, encourage pollution prevention, and
increase potential civil and criminal liabilities. These Amendments
affect large corporate manufacturers and small coating facilities.
The 1990 Amendments represent the latest in a series of federal efforts
to regulate the protection of air quality in the U.S. While legislation
addressing air pollution has existed since the 1950s, the first major attempt
to control air pollution is considered to be the Air Quality Act of 1967,
which provided the authority to establish air quality standards. The 1970 Clean Air Act Amendments strengthened previous legislation and
laid the foundation for the regulatory scheme of the 1970s and 1980s. In 1977, Congress again added several provisions, including non-attainment
requirements for areas not meeting the national
ambient air quality standards (NAAQS).
The primary responsibility for implementing and enforcing the provisions
of the Clean Air Act rests with the States. This is accomplished
through state implementation plans which must be submitted to the U.S.
EPA for review and approval. State programs must be at least as stringent
as the federal program, but they can also be more stringent. Because
requirements may vary between States, it is important for facility operators
to be aware of any state and local requirements which may be slightly different
from, or more stringent than, the federal scheme.
Because of the significant amount of current regulatory activity resulting
from the 1990 Amendments, the remainder of this document is primarily focused
on those provisions.
Key Provisions of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
Title I: Attaining and Maintaining the National Ambient Air Quality
Title I attempts to bring all areas of the country into attainment with
Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) (40 CFR
Part 50) for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, ozone,
lead, and particulate matter. Different classifications are assigned
to different areas based on the extent of non-attainment; areas with the
worst air quality are assigned the worst classifications, and therefore
have more stringent controls imposed. Title I especially impacts
sources of emissions of volatile
organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides
(NOx) in ozone non-attainment areas. Such sources include painting
and surface coating operations, metal finishing operations, and organic
solvent degreasing operations.
To achieve the air quality standards, state
implementation plans (SIP) outline what reasonably
available control technology (RACT) is required for major polluting
sources in the area. Also, New
Source Performance Standards (NSPSs) (40 CFR
Part 60) are developed based on pollution control technologies currently
available to specific industrial sources but also allow the affected industries
to create cost-effective emission reduction techniques.
Standards for several specific industries that perform surface coating
of metal products have been promulgated. The categories are metal
furniture (40 CFR Part 60 Subpart EE), automobile
and light duty trucks (40 CFR Part 60 Subpart MM), large appliances (40
CFR Part 60 Subpart SS), coil coating (40 CFR
Part 60 Subpart TT), and beverage can manufacturing (40
CFR Part 60 Subpart WW).
Title II: Mobile Sources
Title II covers provisions for mobile sources, such as cars, trucks
Title III: Air Toxics
Title III substantially expands EPA's regulation of hazardous
air pollutants (HAP) (40 CFR Part 61) by
increasing the number of listed chemical substances to 189. Title
III also instructs the EPA to develop National
Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for categories
of sources (40 CFR Part 63) emitting one or more
of the 189 HAPs. The emission
standards are established based on maximum
achievable control technology (MACT) for each source category. Incentives are provided for voluntary reductions of 90 percent or more
in emissions of a HAP (95 percent for HAP that are particulates) before
the MACT standard is proposed.
NESHAPs for the aerospace industry (40 CFR Part
63 Subpart GG) and the shipbuilding and ship repair industry (40
CFR Part 63 Subpart II), which include surface coating operations,
have been established. Regulations applying to other surface coating
operations are scheduled for release in 2000.
Title IV: Acid Deposition Control
Title IV establishes an acid rain control program mainly affecting electric
utilities. Title IV also provided that the EPA will develop emission
standards to reduce nitrogen oxides from combustion sources.
Title V: Permits
Title V impacts most industrial facilities, including those performing
organic finishing. Title V established a new comprehensive State
operating permit program (40 CFR Part 70). This program requires new, modified and existing major sources to obtain
operating permits. Permit programs are operated by the individual
states and permits are subject to review and renewal every five years.
Title VI: Stratospheric Ozone Protection
Title VI expands the federal government's authority to ban ozone-depleting
substances (ODSs). A phase-out schedule for Class I substances
(chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl
chloroform) and Class II substances (hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFCs)
was established. Title VI also mandates that EPA establish a Significant
New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program listing acceptable and unacceptable
alternatives to restricted or phased-out ODSs. In addition, containers
that store Class I and II substances and products that contain Class I
substances are required to be properly labeled.
Title VII: Enforcement
Title VII mandates that EPA promulgate rules on enhanced monitoring
requirements and submission of compliance certifications. EPA can
issue citations and impose civil penalties when permit provisions are exceeded
and criminal felony sanctions for intentional or negligent violations.
Title VIII: Miscellaneous Provisions
Title VIII provides for the regulation of air pollution sources located
in the outer continental shelf, for research on renewable and nonrenewable
energy sources, and for evaluation of further regulations to control visibility
impairment of national parks and wilderness areas.
Title IX: Clean Air Research
Title IX initiates various research programs including: air pollution
monitoring, analysis, modeling, and inventory research; the study of environmental
health effects and ecosystem damage from exposure to air pollution; the
study of international air pollution control technologies; clean alternative
fuels research; and air pollution prevention and emissions control studies.
Title X: Disadvantaged Business Concerns
Title X requires that at least 10 percent of total federal funds for
EPA-funded research pertaining to the 1990 Amendments be made available
to disadvantaged business concerns.
Title XI: Clean Air Employment Transition Assistance
Title XI authorizes the Secretary of Labor to provide grants for programs
that assist individuals adversely affected by CAA compliance.