An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Enforcement

National Compliance Initiative: Creating Cleaner Air for Communities by Reducing Excess Emissions of Harmful Pollutants

NCI Air Toxics Flare Air pollution from an improperly operated flare

Problem

People living in non-attainment areas or in communities that are near sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) may face significant risks to their health and environment. HAPs are pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. In some instances, small amounts of these chemicals inhaled or ingested can cause serious illness. There are over 180 chemicals that the EPA has identified as HAPs, including mercury, benzene, dioxin, and lead compounds. Furthermore, significant sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contribute to non-attainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) or may adversely affect the attainment status of an area. VOCs are a key component in the formation of ground-level ozone (a constituent of photochemical smog) and secondary organic aerosols, both of which may impact ecosystems and can cause adverse health effects like respiratory ailments. Many individual VOCs also are known to be harmful to human health.

Goal

This NCI addresses the adverse health and environmental effects from exceedances of the NAAQS to which sources of VOCs contribute, as well as VOC- and HAP-related health impacts on communities.

Results

EPA adopted this NCI for the FY 2020-2023 cycle.  The following maps and charts show EPA’s actions in targeting and reducing illegal emissions of toxic air pollutants under both the FY 2017-2019 NCI "Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants” and this new NCI.  Prior air quality NCIs can be found here: "Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants", “Ensuring Energy Extraction Activities Comply with Environmental Laws," and "Reducing Air Pollution from the Largest Sources".

Map of air toxics enforcement actions