Department of Environmental Conservation

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Air Quality Planning

Planning for Clean Air

Pursuant to the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six criteria pollutants: ozone, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and lead. In areas of nonattainment (i.e., where pollutant levels exceed the NAAQS), State Implementation Plans (SIPs) are developed to demonstrate that the state has appropriate program components in place, and to identify emission control programs that the state will rely on to meet and maintain the NAAQS. State SIPs must also account for pollution that contributes to visibility impairment, otherwise known as regional haze.

The New York SIP is made up of many related actions that have been taken to meet these Clean Air Act requirements, such as infrastructure assessments, attainment demonstrations, and regulations. Whenever a revision to the SIP is required, DEC solicits public comments on a proposed version before a final version is submitted to EPA.

Mobile and Stationary Source Planning

Mobile Sources

DEC uses emission models to generate baseline and projection inventories of mobile source pollutants. Based on these emissions inventories, DEC can devise control strategies for on-road and off-road vehicles and other mobile sources. The control strategies are used in State Implementation planning for pollutants that typically come from mobile sources.

Stationary Sources

To develop control strategies for pollutants from facilities and other stationary sources, DEC constructs statewide emissions inventories. Stationary source emissions inventories are based on actual emission data from major regulated facilities, and calculated emissions from minor stationary sources (US EPA has established area source procedures for these calculations).