FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AAPCA Releases 2018 Edition of The Greatest Story Seldom Told
Annual air quality report highlights key metrics and success stories from state and local air quality agencies
July 2, 2018
Today, the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) released the 2018 edition of The Greatest Story Seldom Told: Profiles and Success Stories in Air Pollution Control. State and local air agencies have been at the forefront of the significant progress in air quality that has been achieved over the past several decades.
First published in April 2017, AAPCA’s report catalogues air quality metrics and trends using publicly available data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. These trends range from concentrations of criteria air pollutants and visibility progress in national parks to permitting and compliance and enforcement statistics. Where applicable, this report also presents the trend lines of economic and social indicators that provide important context for air quality.
In cases where data sets allow state-to-state comparisons, the report highlights areas where the twenty states that serve on the AAPCA Board of Directors have provided leadership in improving air quality.
“The remarkable progress that has been made in air quality is a great story that underscores the work of state and local air agencies,” said AAPCA President Stuart Spencer, Associate Director for the Arkansas Division for Air Quality. “The 2018 edition of The Greatest Story Seldom Told continues to provide vital context for this improvement, and demonstrates that AAPCA members are dedicated to engaging with U.S. EPA and stakeholders to realize the best outcomes for air quality.”
AAPCA Vice President Nancy Vehr, Air Quality Administrator for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality added that “AAPCA members are proud to highlight the successes that have been achieved in controlling for air pollution. As this report shows, state members of the Association have provided leadership in nearly every metric while accommodating growing populations and economies.”
Some key statistics from 2018 edition of The Greatest Story Seldom Told include:
- As of 2016, combined emissions of the six criteria air pollutants for which there are national ambient air quality standards were down 73 percent since 1970.
- According to U.S. EPA’s analysis of 2016 monitoring data, there has been at least a 30-percent reduction in the ambient levels of carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and sulfur dioxide since 1980, and available monitoring data for fine and coarse particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) show similar trends.
- From 2006 to 2016, AAPCA Member States were responsible for approximately 66.5 percent of the national reduction in reported toxic air releases, accounting for more than 551-million pounds of the 829-million-pound total reduction.
- Between 1997 and 2017, AAPCA Member States reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by nearly 60 percent, from over 12.6 million tons to less than 5.4 million tons.
- As of 2016, AAPCA Member States had reduced electricity sector sulfur dioxide emissions by 9.3 million tons compared to 1990.
- From 2000 to 2015, the 20 states that comprise the AAPCA Board of Directors reduced energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by 337.4 million metric tons, accounting for more than 56 percent of cumulative national reductions.
- According to U.S. EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO), states were the leaders in full compliance evaluations related to the Clean Air Act, conducting full compliance evaluations for more than 14,000 facilities in 2017, more than 80 times as many that were conducted by EPA.
The Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA) is a national, non-profit, consensus-driven organization focused on assisting state and local air quality agencies and personnel with implementation and technical issues associated with the federal Clean Air Act. AAPCA members work collaboratively on behalf of states and the communities they protect to act as a conduit for and provide feedback to federal regulators on air quality rules that have significant impacts across the entire nation. AAPCA represents more than 40 state and local air agencies, and senior officials from 20 state environmental agencies currently sit on AAPCA’s Board of Directors. AAPCA is housed in Lexington, Kentucky as an affiliated association of The Council of State Governments (CSG).
Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies | 1776 Avenue of the States | Lexington, Kentucky 40511
www.cleanairact.org | @AAPCA_States
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