Since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, air quality has improved in many regions of our

country. However, even after 30 years of progress, more than 130 million Americans continue to breathe dirty, unhealthy air. Clean air is a basic right for all of us, and is especially important for our children's health. Join with the Sierra Club's Clean Air Program in our efforts to protect the basic right of clean air for all Americans. Our nation's Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set and maintain national air quality standards to protect the health of the American people and our environment. The EPA is charged with reviewing and updating each of six national air standards every five years, and recently announced a proposed revision to the smog standard. Our nation's Clean Air Act requires the EPA to protect the health of the American people and our environment from air pollution. One of the ways the EPA carries out this mission is through national air pollution standards, which are known officially as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These air pollution standards regulate six major air pollutants that can cause a wide range of health problems from respiratory illness to premature death: particulate matter (soot), ozone (smog), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, lead, and carbon monoxide. Using the best available scientific evidence, the EPA is required to set limits for air pollution low enough and with "a margin of safety" sufficient to protect everyone, including the most sensitive groups. The EPA has to review and update each of the national standards every five years EPA Proposes Strengthening the Smog Standard Formed when nitrogen oxide reacts with other air pollution and sunlight, ozone has historically been one of the hardest major air pollutants for the EPA to control. Also known as smog, ozone can cause a wide range of health problems like shortness of breath, increased risk of asthma attacks, and premature death. In June 2007, the EPA released a new proposed revision to the ozone pollution standard. This proposal calls for lowering the standard to somewhere in the range of 0.070 to 0.075 parts per million. This

strengthening is a very good step in the right direction, although it falls short of the lower range of 0.060 that was recommended by the scientific experts on the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee. During the announcement, EPA Administrator Johnson repeatedly stated that the current standard is not protective of public health. However, at the same time, EPA has decided to take comments on maintaining the current standard without any revision. EPA will accept public comments on the proposed revision from now until sometime in September. During this comment period, Sierra Club and individuals have the opportunity to submit comments urging the EPA to reject maintaining the current standard and to set the lowest possible level under consideration. In addition, EPA has announced four public hearings on the proposed revision. These hearings will be held on August 30 in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, and on September 5 in Chicago, Atlanta and Houston Soot Standards Put Public Health at Risk The EPA's standard to limit soot pollution, or particulate matter pollution, announced in September 2006 disappointed environmental, medical, and the scientific communities. In the time since the EPA last updated its standard in 1997 and when the new standard was announced, more than 2,000 scientific studies showed that exposure to even smaller amounts of soot cause serious health damage. Scientists urged EPA to create a standard in keeping with the deluge of scientific findings detailing the damaging health impacts of soot pollution on the respiratory and circulatory systems and the increased risks for illness and death. The Dirty Facts About Dry Cleaning Despite scientific evidence pointing to the adverse health effects of perchloroethylene, the EPA has decided to allow the continued use of this highly toxic chemical in dry cleaners across the country. Also known as perc or PCE, perchloroethylene poses an increased risk to those who live near or work in dry cleaners, possibly even leading to an increased risk of cancer. Fortunately, there are cleaner, safer technologies available, and many dry cleaners have already successfully made the switch to greener cleaning.

Perchloroethylene is not just another detergent All Americans deserve to breathe clean air. Unfortunately, due to EPA's inaction, people across the United States are being exposed to harmful pollutants, such as perchloroethylene. Perchloroehylene, also known as perc or PCE, is a highly toxic chemical emitted from dry cleaners throughout the country. Despite evidence of its serious adverse health effects, the EPA has allowed tens of thousands of dry cleaners across the country to continue using perc. While the EPA is doing little to encourage green cleaning, there is a movement toward non-perc alternatives. Perc is already being phased out in California and many family-owned dry cleaners have made the switch to cleaner, safer technologies, such as wet cleaning and carbon dioxide. The switch can be accomplished at little or no cost, by requiring cleaners to switch to non-perc cleaning machines as their old systems wear out. Non-perc alternatives offer the same cleaning quality with none of the toxic threats of perc. Power Plant Poisons Under-the-Radar Power plants burning fossil fuels like coal are major contributors to poor air quality, cause degradation of our nation's waters, and contribute to acid rain damage of our lakes and forests. Although some of this pollution is well known, much remains under the public's radar. Power Plants & Air Pollution Cleaning up air pollution means going straight to the source. In this nation, that source is often time power plants that burn fossil fuels like coal and oil. Together, these power plants contribute to soot and smog pollution, spew out mercury that poisons our waters and fish, and churn out dozens of dangerous air toxins. Power Plant Poisons Under-the-Radar Some power plant pollution is well known to the public, but much remains under the public's radar. The Clean Air Act is the main force behind the control of air pollution in the United States. The Act was originally passed in 1963, but large and important amendments were added in both 1970 and 1990. The Act enforces a comprehensive program for reducing air pollution. As passed by the U.S. Congress in 1963, the Clean Air Act was a moderate bill that offered federal research aid, urged the development of state control agencies, and involved the federal government in inter-state pollution issues. In 1965, an amendment

was added to the bill requiring the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Services to create and enforce auto emission standards. This marked the federal government's first active role in clean air policy, though it was the Clean Air Act of 1970 that, for the first time, put real power in the hands of the federal government instead of the states. This 1970 law remains the basis for air pollution control policy. It has four major components. First, it put into place National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Targeted at major polluting chemicals, such standards were intended to protect human health as well as the environment. These standards were to be developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Second, the EPA was to establish New Source Performance Standards to determine how much pollution should be allowed by different industries in different regions. Third, the Act specified standards for controlling auto emissions with the aim of reducing various gases by almost 90 percent. Finally, the law encouraged states to develop plans to achieve such standards and then required that state plans be approved by the EPA. If a state chose not to form such a plan or did not complete it by a specified date, the EPA would take over the administration of the law for that state. The states were also required to enforce the Clean Air Act. In 1977, more amendments were added to the Act; these dealt with states that were not achieving national objectives, with auto emissions, and with measures to prevent air quality deterioration in areas where the air had previously been clean. The Clean Air Act was last amended in 1990. This time the additions addressed acid rain, toxic pollutants, areas still not at regulation standards, and ozone layer depletion. Under the Act, massive decreases in certain gas emissions were mandated in order to control acid rain; toxic pollutants were to be regulated even more; deadlines were set for the noncompliant areas; and three major chemical contributors to ozone layer depletion were phased out. For the most part, the Clean Air Act is regarded as a success. It has been credited with greatly reducing many pollutants in the air.

action plan shall : a.) Include enforceable emission limitations and other control measures, means or techniques, as well as schedules and time tables for compliance, as may be necessary or appropriate to meet the applicable requirements of this Act; b.) Provide for the establishment and operation of appropriate devices, methods, systems and procedures necessary to monitor, compile and analyze data on ambient air quality; c.) Include a program to provide for the following : (1) enforcement of the measures described in subparagraph (a);(2) regulation of the modification and construction of any stationary source within the areas covered by the plan, in accordance with land use policy to ensure that ambient air quality standards are achieved; d). Contain adequate provisions, consistent with the provisions of this Act, prohibiting any source or other types of emissions activity within the country from emitting any air pollutant in amounts which will significantly contribute to the nonattainment or will interfere with the maintenance by the Department of any such ambient air quality standard required to be included in the implementation plan to prevent significant deterioration of air quality or to protect visibility; e.) Include control strategies and control measures to be undertaken within a specified time period, including cost effective use of economic incentives, management strategies, collection action and environmental education and information; f.) Designate airsheds; and g.)All other measures necessary for the effective control and abatement of air pollution. The adoption of the plan shall clarify the legal effects on the financial, manpower and budgetary resources of the affected government agencies, and on the alignment of their programs with the plans. In addition to direct regulations, the plan shall be characterized by a participatory approach to the pollution problem. The involvement of private entities in the monitoring and testing of emissions from mobile and/or stationary sources shall be considered. Likewise, the LGU's, with the assistance from the Department, shall prepare and develop an action plan consistent with the Integrated Air Quality Improvement Framework to attain and maintain the ambient air quality standards with their respective airsheds as provided in Sec. 9 hereof. The local government units shall develop and submit to the Department as procedure for carrying out the action plan for their jurisdiction. The Department, however, shall maintain its authority to independently inspect the enforcement procedure adopted. The Department shall have the power to closely supervise all or parts of the air quality action plan until such time the local government unit concerned can assume the function to enforce the standards set by the Department.

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