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ECONOMIC INCENTIVE GUIDANCE FOR STATE AIR CLEAN-UP
Release Date: 09/17/99
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1999
ECONOMIC INCENTIVE GUIDANCE FOR
STATE AIR CLEAN-UP
STATE AIR CLEAN-UP
EPA has announced the draft update of its 1994 Economic Incentive Program rule which provides guidance for states choosing to incorporate economic incentive programs into their plans for meeting air quality standards for ground-level ozone (smog), particulates (soot), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and lead. The guidance does not apply to toxic air pollutants. Economic incentive programs, encouraged by the Clean Air Act (CAA), provide creative, cost-effective approaches that increase flexibility for industry while accelerating air quality improvement. EPA sought input from two independent advisory groups: The Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, the principal external advisory body to EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, and the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee, a body created to advise EPA on environmental justice issues. Under EPA’s draft guidance, not only must air not get any dirtier because of economic incentive programs, but states must also demonstrate that these programs will have an environmental benefit; emission reductions must be quantifiable, permanent and original. There are four types of economic incentive programs covered in this guidance: emission trading programs that create transferable reductions; financial mechanism programs with fees paid by companies for each state-specified unit of emissions which may also include government subsidies that promote pollution-reducing activities (e.g. car pooling) or products (e.g., low emission buses); clean air investment funds that provide financial relief for industries that do not want to pay emission reduction costs; and public information programs that include educational activities such as product certifications. The draft guidance also includes suggested provisions to address environmental justice concerns, including a recommendation that no economic incentive program result in increased emissions in low-income or minority communities. It also advises that in these localities, pollution sources should comply with the CAA by reducing actual emissions, rather than achieving compliance solely by purchasing emission credits from more affluent areas. EPA is providing a 60-day public comment period on the draft guidance following its publication Sept. 15 in the Federal Register. The Register notice, the draft guidance and background documentation are available at: https://www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg/ramain.html. For further technical information on the incentives guidance, contact Nancy Mayer at 919-541-5390 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) or Eric Crump at 919-541-4719 (e-mail: email@example.com) of EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.
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