Clean Air Act Management
The Clean Air Act (CAA) is the primary federal air management statute that incorporates regulations to improve the nation's air quality. Under the CAA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determines the levels of pollutants that are allowed in the air throughout the country. Originally passed in 1963, the CAA was amended in 1970, 1977, and 1990 to increase regulations and introduce new initiatives to further the goal of improving air quality in the United States.
How does the Clean Air Act impact the Army?
The CAA impacts many Army activities including:
- Maintenance, rework, and inspection of vehicles;
- Operation of new and existing boilers and incinerators;
- Waste disposal;
- Some training activities;
- Air emissions monitoring;
- Decreased use of ozone depleting chemicals (ODCs); and
- Acquisition of alternatively fueled vehicles.
The Army also assesses their contribution to air pollutants such as ozone or particulate matter and the air quality status of their EPA regions. Army leadership manages the hazardous air pollutants and ODCs, as well as risk management planning. They ensure compliance with permit conditions, maintain air emissions inventories, and conduct on-site inspections and audits.
How does the U.S. Army Environmental Command (USAEC) help the Army comply with the CAA?
USAEC's role in promoting environmental compliance for the Army in the area of air management includes:
- Reviewing all CAA rulemakings;
- Preparing Army impact analyses and comments on potential rulemakings;
- Preparing guidance documents, including pollution prevention options;
- Developing tools to assist installations in complying with CAA requirements such as technical compliance guides, compliance placards, air pollution prevention guides and compliance guides for smokes and obscurants;
- Working with the Office of the Director of Environmental Programs (ODEP) and the Installation Management Command (IMCOM) to develop compliance strategies;
- Tracking the Army's progress on meeting DoD and Army environmental goals;
- Supporting installations when requested;
- Maintaining contact with the EPA to stay abreast of current and future initiatives;
- Representing the Army on DoD committees, along with ODEP;
- Hosting discussion groups within the Army to exchange lessons learned and share information; and
- Supporting various training opportunities and forums, such as the Real World Clean Air Symposium and the Environmental Training Workshop, to aid installation air program managers.