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Air Quality Agreement

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The 1991 Air Quality Agreement originally included two annexes. Annex 1, the Acid Rain Annex, focuses on the commitments of both nations to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX), the primary precursors of acid rain. Under Annex 2, the Scientific and Technical Activities and Economic Research Annex, the United States and Canada agree to coordinate their respective air pollution monitoring networks and exchange information.

In December 2000, Annex 3, the Ozone Annex, was added to the Agreement. This Annex commits the two nations to reducing emissions of NOX and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the precursor pollutants to ground-level ozone. Ground-level ozone is the major component of smog.

In 2007 and 2008, negotiating sessions were held between the United States and Canada to discuss a PM Annex under the AQA.

A bilateral Air Quality Committee is responsible for coordinating the overall implementation of the AQA. Two subcommittees—Program Monitoring and Reporting and Scientific Cooperation—meet annually with the Air Quality Committee and carry out yearly activities. The two nations prepare a joint progress report every two years and conduct a regular five-year review and assessment of the Agreement.

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