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Air Quality Management in the United States
program to independently document improvements in health and welfare outcomes achieved from improvements in air quality (see Chapter 6).
Tracking Implementation Costs. Programs to systematically collect information on the costs of implementation of the CAA have been funded inconsistently and have been limited in their ability to independently validate company estimates of compliance costs (see Chapter 6).
The successful transformation of the AQM system will require renewed assessment of, and investment, in the nation’s scientific and technical capacity. Most critical in this regard is the capacity to comprehensively document and monitor pollutant emissions, human and ecosystem exposure, ambient air quality, and human health and welfare outcomes. Because of insufficient resources, transformation of the AQM system should begin with a reappraisal of current resource deployment, identifying opportunities to disinvest in portions of the nation’s monitoring and risk assessment system that are less useful and to reinvest those funds in high-priority improvements. Even with the most creative reinvestment of existing resources, however, an enhanced AQM system will require substantial new resources as well. Any investment of new resources would be modest in comparison to the $27 billion of annual compliance costs for the CAA expected by 2010 (EPA 1999a). Even doubling the approximate $200 million in federal funds currently dedicated to air quality monitoring and research at EPA alone would be less than 1% of the costs expended annually to comply with the CAA. Such resources are even smaller when compared with the costs imposed by the deleterious effects of air pollution on human health and welfare.
On the basis of its review of the current ability of the AQM system to assess risk and monitor progress, the committee identified a set of seven priority recommendations:
Improve Emissions Tracking
EPA should lead a coordinated effort with state, local, and tribal air quality agencies to improve the current system of tracking emissions and their reductions in time and space and estimating overall trends in emission inventories. This undertaking will be challenging because of the large number of emission sources and the changes in their emissions over time. Despite those difficulties, emission inventories should be based on emission measurements whenever possible rather than model calculations. Efforts to achieve that should include the following: