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Air Quality Management in the United States
tion has associated with it a number of specific actions, and each action is designed to help to attain one or more of the long-term objectives for AQM described above (see Figure 7-1).
Although all the recommendations are important, the first set of recommendations to enhance the technical capacity of the AQM system is important to implementing the others. Without substantial progress on the first recommendation, the actions called for in the remaining four recommendations will be more difficult to accomplish.
Strengthen the scientific and technical capacity of the AQM system to assess risk and to track progress.
Over the past 30 years, the nation has developed an extensive system to monitor air quality and a large body of scientific observations concerning the health effects of exposure to air pollution and the impacts of air pollutants on ecosystems. However, because of the continuing challenges to the AQM system, the current system is inadequate to meet the future needs of an enhanced AQM system.
Emissions. The nation’s AQM system has not developed a comprehensive program to track emissions and emission trends accurately and, as a result, is unable to verify claimed reductions in pollutant emissions that have accrued as a result of implementation of the CAA (see Chapter 6).
Ambient Monitoring. The nation’s air quality monitoring network is dominated by urban sites, limiting its ability to address a number of important issues, such as documenting national air quality trends and assessing the exposure of ecosystems to air pollution (see Chapter 6).
Modeling. Substantial progress has been made in the development of air quality models, but their predictive capabilities and their usefulness to air quality policy-makers are limited by the availability and quality of data needed on meteorological conditions and emissions (see Chapter 3).
Assessing Exposure. Although health and welfare effects are ultimately the product of exposures of populations and ecosystems to mixes of pollutants from specific sources, the nation’s AQM system has not invested adequate resources in assessing exposure, relying instead on surrogates (for example, attainment of an ambient NAAQS) to achieve benefits (see Chapter 6).
Tracking and Assessing Risks and Benefits to Human Health and Welfare. The nation’s AQM system has not developed a method and