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Clean Air Act

The primary law governing the Department of Energy (DOE) air pollution control activities is the Clean Air Act (CAA). This law defines the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state, local and tribal air programs in protecting and improving the nation’s air quality and stratospheric ozone layer by regulating emissions from mobile and stationary sources. The CAA contains titles that:

Strengthen measures for attaining air quality standards (Title I)

  • Set forth provisions relating to mobile sources (Title II)
  • Expand the regulation of hazardous air pollutants (Title III)
  • Require substantial reductions in power plant emissions for control of acid rain (Title IV)
  • Establish operating permits for all major sources of air pollution (Title V)
  • Establish provisions for stratospheric ozone protection (Title VI)
  • Expand enforcement powers and penalties (Title VII)

DOE Headquarters chairs and coordinates activities of the DOE Clean Air Working Group. The working group was organized to promote communication between DOE sites and serve as an information exchange network. The working group provides a forum for DOE site representatives to discuss air regulations and compliance issues, share lessons-learned and best practices, coordinate comments in response to proposed policies and regulations, and for identifying and developing/responding to guidance needs on air pollution control-related topics. 

DOE Headquarters also provides technical assistance and support to Departmental programs and sites on issues related to implementation and compliance with the CAA regulations, and coordinates the review and advocates Departmental interests regarding certain proposed CAA regulatory initiatives that apply to DOE operations. The office serves as a corporate resource and conducts the following CAA-related activities in support of DOE program and field offices:

  • Provide technical support and compliance assistance
  • Research and evaluate regulatory compliance issues
  • Develop guidance on compliance topics and new requirements
  • Track emerging regulatory initiatives
  • Coordinate DOE response to emerging policies and rulemakings