Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy

The Clean Air Act instructed EPA to develop a comprehensive strategy to control emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) from area sources in urban areas. Air toxics tend to pose greater risks in urban areas because these areas are generally located near major roadways, have a higher concentration of sources, and a large number of people exposed. The Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy was developed in 1999 to reduce cumulative public health risks from air toxics in urban areas posed by the combined exposures from all sources, including major stationary sources, smaller area stationary sources and mobile sources. EPA recognized that national regulations alone would not be enough to address all of the issues, particularly those affecting urban areas. Therefore, the Strategy consists of four key components:

  • Source-specific and sector-based standards which include regulatory activities designed to address air toxics on a national level;
  • National, regional and community-based initiatives focusing on multimedia and cumulative risks to address and resolve issues at the local level through partnerships with state, tribal and local governments and community stakeholders;
  • National-level air toxics assessments using analytical tools such as emissions inventories, monitoring networks and analytical assessments to identify risks, track progress and help prioritize efforts; and
  • Outreach and education consisting of activities involving state, tribal and local agencies, cities, communities and other groups and organizations that help the EPA implement its program to reduce air toxics emissions.

In addition, the Strategy includes three goals, two required by the Clean Air Act and the third being an overall programmatic goal to address populations and areas disproportionately impacted by air toxics. The goals of the Strategy are:

  • Attain a 75 percent reduction in incidence of cancer attributable to exposure to HAPs emitted by stationary sources;
  • Attain a substantial reduction in public health risks (such as birth defects and reproduction effects) posed by HAP emissions from area sources; and
  • Address disproportionate impacts of air toxics hazards across urban areas.

Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy Documents

EPA has a docket containing information relating to the development of the final Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy. Contact the Docket Office to obtain copies of any docketed material -- you will need to refer to Docket No. A-97-44.

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