30 Urban Air Toxic Pollutants & 68 Area Sources From the EPA

Clean air and water are essential to the health of all Americans. Born in the wake of elevated concern about environmental pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established on December 2, 19701, to consolidate in one agency a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection.  Jay Harold’s Post,”30 Urban Air Toxic Pollutants & 68 Area Sources From the EPA,” talks about proposed changes to the EPA.  The post will also discuss air pollution and its effects on Americans.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt2 on April 2, 2018, announced that aggressive light-vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions limits set under the Obama administration for model years 2022-25 are “not appropriate,” triggering a controversial new rulemaking process to adjust the standards and a possible showdown with California.

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NHTSA’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy3 (CAFE) standards regulate how far our vehicles must travel on a gallon of fuel. NHTSA sets CAFE standards for passenger cars and light trucks (collectively, light-duty vehicles), and separately sets fuel consumption standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and engines. NHTSA also regulates the fuel-economy window stickers on new vehicles.

Air Pollution in the United States4

Air pollution emitted from transportation contributes to smog, and to poor air quality, which has negative impacts on the health and welfare of U.S. citizens.  Pollutants that contribute to poor air quality include particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The transportation sector is responsible for:
  • Over 55% of NOx total emissions inventory in the U.S.
  • Less than 10% of VOCs emissions in the U.S.
  • Less than 10% of PM2.5 and PM10 emissions in the U.S.

EPA implements national programs and standards for fuels and vehicles that reduce air pollution including smog, soot, and toxic pollutants, and spur investments in clean vehicle and engine technology. EPA programs to reduce emissions from transportation sources have resulted in less smog and soot, significantly better air quality and better health for Americans. By 2030, EPA air quality emissions standards for vehicles are projected to prevent annually:

  • 40,000 premature deaths
  • 34,000 avoided hospitalizations30 Urban Air Toxic Pollutants & 68 Area Sources From the EPA
  • 4.8 million work days lost

What are Urban Air Toxics?

Air toxics, also known as toxic air pollutants or hazardous air pollutants, are those pollutants that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental and ecological effects.

30 Urban Air Toxic Pollutants5

There are 187 hazardous air pollutants6 (HAPs) that EPA is required to control. From these HAPs, EPA identified 30 that pose the greatest potential health threat in urban areas. These HAPs are referred to as the 30 urban air toxics. EPA also identified an additional three HAPs, but these HAPs are not generally emitted by area sources and, as such, were not included as part of the 30 urban air toxics. The three additional HAPs are coke oven emissions, 1,2-dibromoethane, and carbon tetrachloride.

List of 30 Urban Air Toxics
Acetaldehyde Dioxin Mercury compounds
Acrolein Propylene dichloride Methylene chloride (dichloromethane)
Acrylonitrile 1,3-dichloropropene Nickel compounds
Arsenic compounds Ethylene dichloride (1,2-dichloroethane) Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Benzene Ethylene oxide Polycyclic organic matter (POM)
Beryllium compounds Formaldehyde Quinoline
1,3-butadiene Hexachlorobenzene 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane
Cadmium compounds Hydrazine Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)
Chloroform Lead compounds Trichloroethylene
Chromium compounds Manganese compounds Vinyl chloride

The Clean Air Act identifies 187 hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) that EPA is required to control to protect public health. More specifically, to address HAPs in urban areas, section 112(k) of the Clean Air Act directs EPA to:

  • Identify a subset of 30 HAPs that present the greatest threat to public health in the largest number of urban areas. These 30 HAPs are known as the 30 urban air toxics.
  • Identify area sources that represent 90 percent of the combined emissions of the 30 urban air toxics, and subject these sources to regulation. The EPA identified 68 area source categories of urban air toxics.

30 Urban Air Toxic Pollutants & 68 Area Sources From the EPA

68 Area Sources of Urban Air Toxics7

Area sources are smaller stationary sources of air pollution that emit less than 10 tons per year of a single air toxic, or less than 25 tons per year of a combination of air toxics. Through the Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy and multiple separate listings, the EPA identified 68 area source categories that represent 90 percent of the combined emissions of the 30 urban air toxics.

List of 68 Area Sources of Urban Air Toxics
Acrylic Fibers/Modacrylic Fibers Production Iron and Steel Forging
Agricultural Chemicals and Pesticides Manufacturing Iron Foundries
Aluminum Foundries Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing
Asphalt Processing and Asphalt Roofing Manufacturing Medical Waste Incinerators
Autobody Refinishing Paint Shops Mercury Cell Chlor-Alkali Plants
Carbon Black Production Miscellaneous Organic NESHAP
Chemical Manufacturing: Chromium Compounds Municipal Landfills
Chemical Preparations Municipal Waste Combustors (MWC)
Chromic Acid Anodizing Nonferrous Foundries
Clay Products Manufacturing (Clay Ceramics Manufacturing) Oil and Natural Gas Production
Commercial Sterilization Facilities Paint Strippers
Copper Foundries Paints and Allied Products Manufacturing
Cyclic Crude and Intermediate Production Pharmaceutical Production
Decorative Chromium Electroplating Plastic Materials and Resins Manufacturing
Dry Cleaning Facilities Plastic Parts and Products (Surface Coating)
Electrical and Electronic Equipment – Finish Operations Plating and Polishing
Fabricated Metal Products Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production
Fabricated Plate Work Portland Cement
Fabricated Structural Metal Manufacturing Prepared Feeds Materials
Ferroalloys Production: Ferromanganese & Silicomanganese Pressed and Blown Glass and Glassware Manufacturing
Flexible Polyurethane Foam Fabrication Operations Primary Copper (not subject to MACT)
Flexible Polyurethane Foam Production Primary Metal Products Manufacturing
Gas Distribution Stage 1 Primary Nonferrous Metals (Zn, Cd, and Be)
Halogenated Solvent Cleaners Public Owned Treatment Works
Hard Chromium Electroplating Secondary Copper Smelting
Hazardous Waste Incineration Secondary Lead Smelting
Heating Equipment, Except Electric Secondary Nonferrous Metals
Hospital Sterilizers Sewage Sludge Incineration
Industrial Boilers Fired by Coal, Wood and Oil Stainless and Nonstainless Steel Manufacturing Electric Arc Furnace
Industrial Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing Stationary Internal Combustion Engines
Industrial Machinery and Equipment – Finish Operations Steel Foundries
Industrial Organic Chemical Manufacturing Synthetic Rubber Manufacturing
Inorganic Pigments Manufacturing Valves and Pipe Fittings
Institutional/Commercial Boilers Fired by Coal, Wood, and Oil Wood Preserving

Health effects of Urban Air Toxics

Air toxics tend to pose greater risks in urban areas because these areas have large populations and a higher concentration of emission sources. Combined exposures from all sources of air pollution, including major stationary sources, smaller area sources, indoor sources and mobile sources can increase public health risks from air toxics. Low-income neighborhoods, tribal populations and communities of color that live in urban areas may be disproportionately exposed to air pollution, which is a barrier to economic opportunity and security.

Jay Harold hopes you enjoyed this post, “30 Urban Air Toxic Pollutants & 68 Area Sources From the EPA.” Please Share it and read more about Jay Harold here.   Please take this advice from  Muhammad Ali and give back to others. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

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