Regulatory Drivers

DOE/NETL’s Air Quality Research Program ensures that fossil-fuel-fired power systems continue to meet current and future environmental requirements. Specific environmental regulatory requirements driving this research are briefly summarized below.

I. Clean Air Act (Including 1990 Amendments)

  • Title I - Air Pollution Prevention and Control

    Part A - Air Quality and Emission Limitations
    Sect. 109 - National Ambient Air Quality Standards
    In July 1997 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated new standards for particulate matter finer than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) and revised the ambient ozone standards.
    Sect. 111 - Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources

    Part C - Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality
    Sect. 169A&B - Visibility protection for Federal Class I Areas
    EPA has issued new requirements to improve the visibility in national parks and other Class I areas primarily through the reduction of fine particles.
  • Title III - Hazardous Air Pollutants

    Sect. 3.02 - Listing of 189 hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)
    Several HAPs are released as particles (e.g., arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead) or as acid gases (e.g. hydrochloric acid) during the combustion of coal.
    Sect. 3.04 - Promulgation of Maximum Achievable Control Technology standards
    Sect. 3.11 - Atmospheric Deposition to Great Lakes and Coastal Waters
    Sect. 3.12 - Specific Studies
    Hazardous Air Pollutant Report to Congress
    Hydrofluoric Acid and Uses
    Sect. 3.15 - Prevention of Accidental Release
    Includes reporting of sulfur trioxide releases
  • Title IV - Acid Deposition Control

    Sect. 404 - Phase I Sulfur Dioxide Requirements
    Sect. 405 - Phase II Sulfur Dioxide Requirements
    Sect. 407 - Nitrogen Oxides Emissions Reductions Program

II. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA)

Sect. 313 - Toxic Release Inventory
Requires electric utilities to begin reporting toxic chemical releases starting in July 1999, including releases of certain trace metals and acid gases.

III. Proposed Air Toxics Monitoring Program

To address concerns posed by air toxics emissions and to meet their strategic goal of reducing air toxics emissions by 75 percent from 1993 levels, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed an air toxics program to characterize, prioritize, and equitably address the impacts of hazardous air pollutants on the public health and welfare.


(Note: Several "multi-pollutant control" bills have recently been introduced into the U.S. Congress. Such legislation, if enacted, would significantly modify the driving forces behind the NETL Air Quality Research Program. The information here is based on the regulatory framework that existed in July 2001.)