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Managing Air Quality - Program Implementation

Implementation is the set of activities to ensure that control strategies are put into effect and that air quality goals and standards are fulfilled.

On this page:

Important Elements for Successful Implementation

  1. A regulatory program with implementation deadlines:  Regulations should clearly define the requirements for the regulated entity and the deadlines for implementing these requirements.
  2. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities:  Depending on the nature and type of the air pollution problem, partnerships may be established between different levels of government to facilitate program implementation. For these partnerships to work effectively, the roles and responsibilities of each partner must be clearly defined.  In the United States, state, local, and tribal governments typically implement national air quality programs and rules, in partnership with the federal government.
  3. Assessment and reporting:  Ambient air monitoring, emissions measurement, and analysis of trends in emissions and air quality are important tools to assess if control strategies are working to achieve the air quality goals. Assessment results should be reported to the appropriate regulatory authority and made available to the public.
  4. Compliance and enforcement programs:  To ensure human health and the environment are receiving the protection intended under the law, some level of oversight and accountability is required. In the U.S., EPA takes steps to motivate regulated industries or entities to comply with the law.  When violations are found, enforcement measures, including civil and/or criminal actions, are taken, when warranted. 

Permitting Programs

Regulatory entities can establish permitting programs to help implement air quality goals.  In a permitting program, a regulatory entity issues authorizations or permits to owners or operators of air pollution sources to do something, such as to construct a new facility or to operate a facility. 

The New Source Review Permitting program in the United States requires stationary sources of air pollution to get permits before construction starts. 

The Operating Permit program in the United States ensures that air quality control requirements applied to stationary sources are in place and met.

Additional Information