Samples Environment Environmental Science Overview

Environmental Science Overview

492 words 2 page(s)

Explain the bubble concept as applied to air quality permitting. The bubble concept applies to a manner of air pollution control. It assumes the atmosphere is a bubble and a certain amount of emissions can be released into the bubble. If one company emits more pollutants, then another company has to emit less pollutants to keep from becoming excessive. What is “cap and trade” and how does this differ from the bubble concept? Cap and trade is a program designed to encourage policies that are environmentally safer by legislating emissions. The amount of emissions allowed must be strictly adhered to and can’t exceed the cap amount, which is set beforehand. This is in contrast to the bubble concept, in which businesses have to remain under the cap amount. The permits are exchangeable to other capped businesses if they decide they will not use all the allotted caps (Washington State, 1991).

What are mobile and stationary sources? They represent two of the four main sources of air pollution. Mobile sources are methods of transportation such as cars, trucks, buses and airplanes. Stationary sources are buildings such as factories, oil refineries and power plants (National Park Service, 2013). Compare and contrast the regulatory requirements for stationary and mobile sources of air pollution. Under the Clean Air Act of 1990, the EPA set air quality standards for six common ‘criteria pollutants’: particles, sulfur dioxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, lead and carbon monoxide (Environmental Protection Agency, 2013). Implementation for these regulations falls under the individual states, and they may employ cap and trade for stationary sources like factories. The buildings have permits, and they must remain within limits set under such permits. New plants can’t be built unless they emissions will be offset by reductions from another facility, or shutting down an old one (EPA, 2013). State emissions programs and maintenance requirements exist for cars and other mobile pollution sources. For stationary sources, those are emissions inventories and projections, limits and compliance schedules. Mobile sources have to meet maintenance requirements.

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What are the basic requirements of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Program? According to the EPA (2013) website, PSD Programs have four requirements: installation of the BACT (Best Available Control Technology), an air quality analysis, an additional impacts analysis and public involvement. What is considered “major” under this program? The program applies to all major sources or major modifications to existing sources. The EPA issues new source performance standards (NSPS) to which all major sources and major implementations have to comply. ‘Major’ in this context is a source that emits more of a certain pollutant than is allowable under NSPS.

    References
  • Environmental Protection Agency. (2013). Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)
    Basic Information [Data file]. Retrieved from www.epa.gov/NSR/psd.html.
  • National Park Service. (2013). Sources of Air Pollution [Data file]. Retrieved from
    www.nature.nps.gov/air/AQBasics/sorces/cfm.
  • Washington State Legislature. (1991). Control of emissions- bubble concept- schedules of
    Compliance. RCW 70.94.155. Retrieved from www.apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw.