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Air Quality Management and Climate Change Series: U.S. Air Quality Management and Links to Climate Change

"Key Lessons From National, Regional and State Perspectives"

In session 4,  Dale Evarts, former Leader, Climate and International Group, Air Quality Office, US EPA speaks about incentive schemes that have been developed and applied in the United States both by the federal government and states, including a comparison between the use of incentives versus penalties. He als... view more

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Key Lessons from the US Experience: Air quality management (AQM) is a continuous cycle of development and improvement. Regional cooperation, setting measurable air quality goals, ensuring accountability for government and  industry, providing public with accurate and scientifically valid information, and continuous compliance assistance with strong enforcement incentives and penalties are few key factors for a successful program implementation.  

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Key Roles and Responsibilities: Learn about the key distinctions between the roles and responsibilities of federal governments and state governments. 

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National Standards and Regulations: Watch the Bite video to learn about the requirements that the United States Environmental Protection Agency lays out as a result of the Clean Air Act. 

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Emission Source Permitting: The principal of preconstruction permits is to simply keep clean areas clean and avoid degrading them further and ensuring that if you are in an area that does not meet the standard then the air quality does not worsen. 

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Providing Adequate Resources: Adequate resources are essential to having a successful air quality program. Watch the Bite video to get a snapshot of south coast air quality management program district, which is the largest local or regional air district in the country.  

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Analytical Tools: Watch the Bite video to learn about the tools developed for air quality planning, specifically integrated planning of greenhouse gases and climate pollution reduction in air quality. Learn about various tools such as the Air Benefit and Cost & Attainment Assessment System framework (ABaCAS), BenMAP - Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Rollback Tool and the Global Change Assessment Model. 

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Programs and Policy Recommendations: The significant aspect of the US programs is the ability not only for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce the states and local agencies, but for EPA to become a backstop for the significant role that the public or anybody effected by air pollution can play. 

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Q & A - Part 1: How much of the budget of the States comes from the federal government? When you have state agencies that have part of their funding coming from fees on polluting facilities, how do you ensure that this does not become a progressive incentive since this is a source of revenue for the state?

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Q & A - Part 2: What are the pros and cons of gains versus abacus? Chinese seem to be using abacus to develop their action plan. If we're giving countries advice on these issues it behooves us to understand the pros and cons of these options. 

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Q & A - Part 3: What are the challenges of integrating energy, for eg. emission reduction policies and air pollution policy? How does the pollution policies in interstate transport work in the United States?

About the Presenters

Dale Evarts

Former Leader, Climate and International Group, Air Quality Office, US EPA

Dale Evarts is a climate and air quality expert based in the U.S. After completing a Presidential Management Fellowship in 1988, he joined U.S. EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS).

From 2006-2018, he led the OAQPS’s Climate, International, and Multimedia Group where he worked on the linkages between climate change and air quality, managed international air quality programs, and addressed the impacts of air pollution on water quality and ecosystems. For over two decades, Mr. Evarts was involved in U.S. EPA and international efforts to address transboundary air pollution and to build capacity to improve air quality and address climate pollution.