Region 1: EPA New England

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Control Regulations

VOCs react with nitrogen oxides on hot summer days to form ozone (smog). Car exhaust, gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment, gasoline dispensing stations, industrial coating operations, printing shops, paints, household chemicals - are some of the sources of VOC. The pie chart below shows how VOC emissions in New England were distributed among various sectors in 2002.

Pie Chart of VOC Emissions in New England, 2005

The New England states have adopted regulations that require many facilities to reduce VOC emissions. These emissions can be reduced by making process changes (such as switching to low VOC content coatings) or by installing air pollution control equipment (such as carbon adsorbers or incinerators).

State VOC regulations have to at least meet a level of stringency we call RACT, or Reasonably Available Control Technology. RACT is defined as the lowest level of emissions that can be achieved taking into account technical and economic considerations. EPA provides guidance on RACT in documents called Control Technique Guidelines. EPA reviews and comments on proposed State regulations during the state's public hearing process to ensure that these rules meet RACT and will achieve the emissions reduction projected. Once the state has adopted the VOC rule, EPA approves the rule into the state's State Implementation Plan (SIP). The state's VOC rule then becomes federally enforceable.

The link below will bring you to a webpage from which you can view and download tables that identify facilities in the New England states that emit VOCs. The tables are sorted by magnitude of emissions. One set of tables provides data for calendar year 2002, and a second set of tables provides data for calendar year 2005.