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EPA’s Inspector General Criticizes Agency’s Handling of its Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy

07/20/10

Source: SOCMA
Related Topics: Air Toxics US Environmental Protection Agency

Towards the end of June, EPA’s Inspector General (OIG) released a report (Key Activities in EPA’s Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy Remain Unimplemented) which charged that EPA has been delinquent in issuing its new rules and updated risk assessments for smaller sources under agency’s Integrated Urban Air Toxics Strategy – standards which were initially required in 2000.  (The report can be found at:  http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2010/20100623-10-P-0154.pdf )  The report states that funding for air toxics efforts dropped by more than 70% between fiscal 2001 and 2009, and alleges that area sources have been particularly neglected.  The Inspector General recommended that the agency submit to Congress a second report that explains how the agency plans to address the OIG criticisms.

OIG also urges EPA to:

  • Disclose the current progress in meeting its air toxics strategy requirements;
  • Address the major factors that have kept EPA from fully implementing the strategy and outline how EPA intends to address those factors;
  • Outline in detail how EPA plans to meet the statutory requirement that it set aside a minimum of 10% of its air toxics program funds to support state or local agencies’ efforts to reduce HAP emissions from area sources; and
  • Disclose any HAP requirements that EPA is unable to meet through its current authorities. 

The agency has responded, challenging some of the IG’s findings and noting that the Administration has requested an $18.7 million budget increase for EPA’s air quality and toxics management program, which received $202.2 million for the current fiscal year.  EPA also promised to issue an updated risk assessment report this summer, using emissions data from 2005, and plans to submit its report on “hotspots” to Congress by next summer.







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