Controlling Air Pollution From Industrial Sources Air Essay

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Controlling Air Pollution From Industrial Sources:

Air pollution is the most commonly used term to refer to the wide range of contaminants to the atmosphere that occur either through natural causes or through human activities. These contaminants to the atmosphere are in most cases identified as gases or particles with the most common sources being combustion processes. The growing range of emissions from industrial processes and combustion of industrial wastes is a result of the wide range of compounds that are utilized in the modern manufacturing processes ("Air and Water Pollution," n.d.). While the goals of controlling air pollutions are far from being achieved, air pollution control procedures have continued to be a significant part of civic administration.

Controlling Air Pollution from Industrial Sources within EU:

Prior to the early nineties, the policy of the European Union concerning air pollution had seemed to be fragmented. The fragmented policy either included directives that were focused on establishing air-quality standards for certain air pollutants or controlling emissions from specific defined sources ("EU Air Pollution Policy," 2010). These developments resulted in the harmonization of requirements that apply to all member countries for controlling air pollution from industrial sources. While each member country is covered by these minimum requirements, the countries are at liberty to establish stricter national requirements for controlling air pollution.

In order to control air pollution from industrial sources, the EU environmental legislation has also established certain requirements for permits for member countries to operate some industrial facilities. These requirements for permits in order to operate these industrial facilities help in controlling releases into air, water and wastes ("Overview of EU Environmental Legislation," 2008). While member states must obtain authorization before commencing on such industrial operations, industrial plants that are for the purpose of national defense are exempted from the directive. Furthermore, the European Union environmental legislation requires the operators of industrial plants to identify the major accident hazards as well as measures to control them and limit their effects.

Generally, the legislative approach in controlling air pollution from industrial sources basically involves the industrial pollution control and risk management. This industrial pollution control and risk management is subdivided into controls on industrial emissions and wastes and controls on industrial risk respectively. The legislative approach for controlling air pollution from industrial sources within the EU includes various directives such as controlling emissions from large combustion plants and use of solvents in industry. Additional directives include the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC), plants for waste incineration ambient air quality assessment and management and emissions of air pollutants from road vehicles ("EU Legislation on Air Pollution," 2002).

Controlling Air Pollution from Industrial Sources in the United States:

The legislative approach to control air pollution in the United States began in the late 1880s with the aim of regulating emissions from smokestacks through the use of nuisance law and municipal ordinances (Christoforou, n.d.). However, these nuisance law and municipal ordinances were abandoned as the basis for controlling air quality in the 1950s following the increased federal involvement. While the role of the federal government remained limited, the enforcement of Air Pollution Control Act in 1955 established the basis for controlling air pollution. The federal government's role was extended in 1963 following the implementation of the Clean Air Act that allowed federal governments to intervene in the reduction of interstate pollution. The amendments to this Act in the 1990s created eleven major divisions that are known as titles in the environmental legislation of America. Currently, the major directive addressing the control of acidification and air pollution is Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments ("Case Study 1," 2004).

Generally, the Clean Air Act Amendments mandated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the authority to set up and impose standards for air pollution. This Agency also has the responsibility of establishing emission standards for new factories and very hazardous industrial pollutants. In order to control air pollution from industrial sources, states are required to meet the standards of ambient air quality through regulation of the emissions of several pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency has the authority of enforcing stricter pollution standards and higher penalties for failure to abide by the standards of air quality ("Solutions to Air Pollution," n.d.).

Similarities in Legislative Approaches:

There are some similarities in legislative approaches for controlling air pollution from industrial sources within the European Union and the United States. These similarities include:

Centralized Policy Approach:

One of the major similarities in the legislative approach taken to control air pollution from industrial sources within the European Union and the United States is a centralized policy approach. For the European Union, member states are required to comply with the established environmental legislation that consists of various directives and regulations. The EU environmental legislation is for the aim of control of industrial pollution and risk management. While member states are free to enforce stricter national regulations on air pollution, the environmental legislation provides directives on the minimum requirements for controlling air pollution in the region.

Similarly, the United States has a centralized policy approach since the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority of establishing and imposing air pollution standards. This centralization of policy in the United States contains several directives and regulations that are aimed at enforcing and regulating environmental standards. While the Agency provides minimal requirements for environmental regulation, the states have the greater responsibility of regulating air pollution (Kramer, 2002). The centralized policy approach for control of air pollution within the European Union and United States are not only comprehensive but has also been all-embracing.

Inclusion of Different Directives:

In efforts for controlling air pollution from industrial sources, the legislative approach for the European Union and the United States have both included different directives. The major regulation in the environmental legislation for the European Union is the IPPC directive whose aim is for an integrated approach in controlling pollution from industrial sources (Skinner, 2000). This directive covers different regulations on controlling industrial emissions and waste as well as regulations on controlling industrial risks. Similarly, through the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act Amendments, the United States has adopted a legislative approach with different directives on various activities. These various regulations were necessitated by the expansion of the Amendments to cover a wide range and strengthen measures for controlling industrial pollution.

Command and Control Approach:

The legislative framework for controlling industrial pollution in the European Union and the United States incorporates and command and control approach. Given that the focus of the legislative approach for controlling industrial pollution within the EU and U.S. is for the purpose of clean air, they use command and control approach to achieve this goal. In the EU environmental legislation, there are both minimum requirements and the liberty for member states to enact stricter policies to reduce industrial pollution. Similarly, the Environmental Protection Agency in America stipulates some narrowed measures and gives states a greater responsibility in controlling industrial pollution.

Traditional Regulations:

The legislative approach for controlling industrial pollution for both the European Union and the United States has adopted traditional regulations. These regulations specify the measures for determination of compliance with the air pollution standards to control the enforcement stage. The traditional regulations determine the permitted pollution level, emission limits and the equipment and practice standards. Moreover, both the EU and the U.S. have established short-term air pollution objectives, plans for achieving these objectives and evaluation measures.

Differences in Legislative Approaches:

There are several differences in the legislative approach including & #8230;

Policy Development and Adoption:

The European Union and United States have different histories of air pollution legislative development which is the reason why there divergent policies that have been adopted. One of the major differences in the legislative approach of the EU and U.S. are the adopted policies. In the United States, the adopted policies basically reflect the statutory mandates of the country's Environmental Protection Agency that are integral to the strategic planning efforts. On the contrary, the adopted policies in the EU mainly reflect the wide guidelines in the Fifth Environmental Action Plan. Additionally, these policies for controlling industrial pollution within the European Union are also shaped by the current national programs of member states.

Air Quality Management:

According to the United States Clean Air Act, each state is required to present a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to the Environmental Protection Agency. This plan contains information concerning the implementation, maintenance and implementation of the basic national air quality standards for areas that are yet to achieve these standards. The state agency is responsible for supervising air quality in the attainment and non-attainment areas while managing the implementation of federal regulations. On the contrary, in the European Union, member states have the permission of using local or national measures in consideration of the cost-effectiveness of the measures. Furthermore, the implementation and enforcement for controlling industrial pollution varies within the European Union because of the different national level policies (Serageldlin, 2006).

Flexibility:

While the legislative approach for controlling industrial pollution…[continue]

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