(email@example.com)WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its annual report on air quality, showing the significant progress the United States has made to improve air quality across the country. “Our Nation’s Air: Status and Trends Through 2016” documents the steady and significant progress made in improving air quality across America, over more than 45 years under the Clean Air Act.
This progress is often overlooked; the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies has called it “The Greatest Story Seldom Told,” explaining that “Through the Clean Air Act’s framework of cooperative federalism, hard-working state and local air agencies have been responsible for tremendous progress in virtually every measure of air quality.”
EPA’s most recent report highlights that, between 1970 and 2016, the combined emissions of six key pollutants dropped by 73 percent, while the U.S. economy grew more than three times. A closer look at more recent progress shows that between 1990 and 2016, national concentration averages of harmful air pollutants decreased considerably:
• Lead (3-month average) ↓99 percent
• Carbon monoxide (8-hour) ↓ 77 percent
• Sulfur dioxide (1-hour) ↓ 85 percent
• Nitrogen dioxide (annual) ↓ 56 percent
• Ground-level ozone (8-hour) ↓ 22 percent
• Coarse Particulate Matter (24-hour) ↓ 39 percent and Fine Particulate Matter (24-hour) ↓ 44 percent
“Despite this success, there is more work to be done,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Nearly 40 percent of Americans are still living in areas classified as ‘non-attainment’ for failing to achieve national standards. EPA will continue to work with states, tribes, and local air agencies to help more areas of the country come into compliance.”
This year’s update to the report includes new, interactive graphics that enable citizens, policymakers, and stakeholders to view and download detailed information by pollutant, geographic location, and time period.
Explore the interactive report and download graphics and data here:
To view the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies' report:
Environmental Protection Agency Adopts National Limits on Formaldehyde Exposure for Composite Wood Products
From the Latham and Watkins LLP Clean Energy Law Report Blog:
On December 12, 2016, EPA published the final Formaldehyde Standards For Composite Wood Products Rule (the Rule) in the Federal Register. The compliance date for most aspects of the Rule is December 12, 2017, with a sell-through provision for wood composite products manufactured or imported prior to that date. The Rule limits formaldehyde emitted into the air from certain composite wood products, which are products made by binding strands, particles, fibers, veneers, or boards of wood together with adhesives. Domestic and foreign companies operating in the U.S. use composite wood products to manufacture a wide variety of consumer products such as furniture, flooring, cabinets, children’s toys, and more.
EPA promulgated the Rule to implement the 2010 Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act (the Act), which Congress enacted as Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The Act established emission standards that mirror the California Air Resource Board’s (CARB) Phase II standards for composite wood products—including hardwood plywood (HWPW), medium-density fiberwood (MDF), and particleboard (PB). Similar to the California requirements, the new federal Rule regulates composite wood products from initial manufacture to final sale by (1) imposing emissions restrictions; (2) regulating product labeling, chain of custody, non-compliant product sell-through, recordkeeping and enforcement; and (3) requiring certification by EPA-approved third-party certifiers (TPC) that conduct quality assurance activities, emissions testing, inspections and auditing services.
Summary of Provisions
Please click here to view table.