2.1 OAQPS's Regulatory Authority
| The purpose of
the CAA is to establish, implement, and maintain standards for the
nations air quality. Since its inception the CAA has been
amended several times, most recently in 1990. Pursuant to the
1990 Amendments, the CAA vests EPA with the authority to undertake
the following actions:
EPAs regulations are designed to directly change the behavior of those entities whose activities result in the generation and release of air pollutants. These regulations are typically in the form of administrative controls (so-called command and control policies) that prescribe certain emitter behaviors (e.g., require the installation of stack gas scrubbers) or that set standards on the allowable releases of pollutants and allow polluters to determine how to achieve the standard. However, they may also take the form of market-type instruments (e.g., emission charges or transferrable rights) that are designed to induce certain behavioral responses by changing emitters consequences of a given action. Finally, and less frequently, EPAs actions may be simply informational, designed to inform entities about the benefits or costs of their current or alternative behaviors (e.g., pollution prevention).
EPAs emission guidelines are developed to provide state and other governmental entities with guidance regarding the methods that may be used to achieve air quality objectives. In a sense, therefore, guidelines are an example of an informational policy. The information, in turn, may be used by the states and other authorities to develop administrative, market-type, or information policies of their own to address their air pollution problems and their responsibilities under the CAA. Changes in the behavior of emitters in response to federal or state level regulations will create economic impacts as resources are reallocated toward more environmental protection and as emissions are reduced.