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Enforcement

National Compliance Initiative: Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants

air pollution from an improperly operated flare
Air pollution from an improperly operated flare

Problem

Leaks, flares, and excess emissions from refineries, chemical plants and other industries emit hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), or air toxics, that are known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects, and seriously impact the environment.  Recent monitoring shows that facilities typically emit more HAP emissions than they actually report.

Leaking equipment and improperly operated flares are some of the largest sources of HAP emissions from petroleum refineries and chemical manufacturing facilities. Improper operation of an industrial flare can result in hundreds of tons of excess HAP emissions.

Update

EPA has worked to identify and address illegal and excess emissions of toxic air pollutants from leaks and flares at facilities that have a significant impact on air quality and health in communities since this initiative began in 2004. 

This NCI will continue to focus on addressing the most significant sources of hazardous air pollution, with a focus on the Strategic Plan objectives of addressing vulnerable populations, addressing clean air non-attainment areas, and achieving a timely return to compliance.

Goal

EPA has worked to identify and address illegal and excess emissions of toxic air pollutants from leaks and flares at facilities that have a significant impact on air quality and health in communities since this initiative began in 2004. 

 

Progress on Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants

The following maps and charts show EPA's progress in targeting and reducing illegal emissions of toxic air pollutants.

Map of air toxics enforcement actions