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Controlling Air Pollution

photo of emissions from car tailpipe

The District is continually working with industry and the public to develop new solutions to the pollution problem that balance concerns about cost and public health. Emission control measures can be mandatory (through regulations) or voluntary. Controls are generally applied to stationary, area, or mobile (onroad and nonroad) sources. They reduce emissions through changes in technology, manufacturing processes, the use of products, or work practices.

Examples of Mandatory Control Measures

  • Engine Anti-Idling - DDOE staff conducts performance audits and program monitoring to measure how effectively the Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program controls pollution.
  • Stage II Gasoline Vapor Recovery – Gasoline contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The direct release of VOC vapor into the atmosphere contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, or smog. To prevent smog, gas pumps in the District must have vapor control devices to control the release of VOCs during the refueling of motor vehicles.
  • NOx SIP Call - The NOx Budget Trading Program began in 2003 as a market-based cap and trade program to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides from power plants and other large combustion sources grandfathered in the eastern United States.
  • OTC Model Rules - The District often adopts rules similar to the model rules developed by the Ozone Transport Commission, which develops regulations in cooperation with affected stakeholders on behalf of states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions that have similar ground-level ozone problems.
  • RACT/BACT/LAER - Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT), Best Available Control Technology (BACT), and Lowest Achievable Emission Rate (LAER) - The District adopts "best available" air pollution control technology requirments for stationary sources as they become subject to EPA emission limits for new and existing sources. RACT/BACT/LAER addresses criteria pollutants.
  • EPA Control Techniques Guidelines - The District occasionally modifies existing rules and adopts new rules as necessary in response to guidances issued by the EPA. Type content here.

Examples of Voluntary Control Measures

  • Clean School Bus Program - In April of 2008, EPA's Mid-Atlantic office awarded $224,250 to DDOE to retrofit 22 public school buses with pollution control technologies. The grant will help reduce students' exposure to diesel exhaust, which contains soot and other pollutants that can penetrate deep into the lungs and pose health risks, including asthma. In combination with ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, emissions from diesel buses will be reduced by 60 to 90 percent.


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