The Clean Air Act, 1990 as amended, requires federal agencies to assess the impact that projects will have on air quality and to take actions to prevent air quality degradation.
Description and Intent
The Clean Air Act, 1990 as amended, requires federal agencies to assess the impact that projects will have on air quality and to take actions to prevent air quality degradation. The CAA sets forth air-quality standards and requirements to control pollutant release. Its goals are to use safe lower-emitting alternatives, employ low-emission practices, identify local air receptors, and conform with state and local requirements.
Summary of Requirements
The CAA requires that FEMA's actions be consistent with the protection and enhancement of the nation's air resources. Following disasters, clean air becomes an important consideration. The burning of debris can generate high quantities of smoke and particulates. Likewise, demolition of properties containing potentially harmful materials may generate hazardous vapors. Consequently, in developing and funding control systems, reasonable care needs to be exercised. Fortunately, FEMA has learned from past disaster experience what protective measures work best.
Under the CAA, FEMA is responsible for (a) ensuring state and local policies are followed for debris burning, equipment exhaust, and construction dust; and (b) considering possible new traffic patterns. FEMA must ensure State and local policies are followed regarding:
- Debris burning
- Equipment exhaust
- Construction dust
Also, FEMA must consider the potential for any proposed action to change traffic patterns to cause increased vehicle emissions in the project area.