Air Quality Planning and Standards
Projects - Major OAQPS Work Areas
The goal of the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) is to preserve and improve the quality of the air that we breathe. Towards this end, OAQPS is involved in various projects dealing with the assessment and regulation of air pollution. Listed below are some selected links to topics and organizations that are part of OAQPS's work.
Is the air clean? Often we cannot see pollution in the air, so testing (monitoring) must be done to check the air quality. The Clean Air Act requires states to establish a network of air monitoring stations for criteria pollutants. OAQPS monitors the states' progress in meeting air quality standards. Areas which do not meet the standard are called nonattainment areas.
Industries and cars put emissions into the air. An emission factor is a representative value that attempts to relate the quantity of a pollutant released to the atmosphere with an activity associated with the release of that pollutant. The National Air Pollutant Emission Trends report presents the latest estimates of national and regional emissions for criteria air pollutants. The Air Toxics Website (ATW) provides a central repository for different Federal, State, Tribal and Local Agencies performing work in the air toxics arena.
Air Pollution Data
The Air Quality System (AQS) contains ambient air pollution data collected by EPA, state, local, and tribal air pollution control agencies from thousands of monitoring stations. Other air pollution data sources are found on EPA's Air Pollution Data Sources page.
Air Quality Modeling
Sometimes we need to know what the air will be like tomorrow. To do this we use models to predict what type of air quality we will have. The Support Center For Regulatory Air Models (SCRAM) site provides information about mathematical models used to predict the dispersion of air pollution. The EPA Regional Modeling Center provides information and data associated with regional applications performed by the OAQPS to support EPA policy development and regulatory actions. The Modeling Clearinghouse is a single EPA focal point for reviewing the use of modeling techniques in specific regulatory applications. The Clearinghouse for Inventories and Emission Factors (CHIEF) provides access to tools for estimating emissions of air pollutants and preparing air emission inventories.
Air pollution is a concern for people, not only in the United States, but also around the world. The bad stuff that one country puts into the air gets pushed by air currents all over the world. That is why there are many other groups who are working to improve the air. Some of them are listed here. The U.S. - Mexico Information Center on Air Pollution (CICA) is an organization that provides technical support and assistance in evaluating air pollution problems along the Mexico - U. S. Border. The Great Lakes Commission is an organization of representatives from the eight states surrounding the Great Lakes, dedicated to improving and protecting the area's environment, economy, and quality of life.