42 U.S. Code § 7651 - Findings and purposes

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(a) FindingsThe Congress finds that—
(1)
the presence of acidic compounds and their precursors in the atmosphere and in deposition from the atmosphere represents a threat to natural resources, ecosystems, materials, visibility, and public health;
(2)
the principal sources of the acidic compounds and their precursors in the atmosphere are emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides from the combustion of fossil fuels;
(3)
the problem of acid deposition is of national and international significance;
(4)
strategies and technologies for the control of precursors to acid deposition exist now that are economically feasible, and improved methods are expected to become increasingly available over the next decade;
(5)
current and future generations of Americans will be adversely affected by delaying measures to remedy the problem;
(6)
reduction of total atmospheric loading of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides will enhance protection of the public health and welfare and the environment; and
(7)
control measures to reduce precursor emissions from steam-electric generating units should be initiated without delay.
(b) Purposes

The purpose of this subchapter is to reduce the adverse effects of acid deposition through reductions in annual emissions of sulfur dioxide of ten million tons from 1980 emission levels, and, in combination with other provisions of this chapter, of nitrogen oxides emissions of approximately two million tons from 1980 emission levels, in the forty-eight contiguous States and the District of Columbia. It is the intent of this subchapter to effectuate such reductions by requiring compliance by affected sources with prescribed emission limitations by specified deadlines, which limitations may be met through alternative methods of compliance provided by an emission allocation and transfer system. It is also the purpose of this subchapter to encourage energy conservation, use of renewable and clean alternative technologies, and pollution prevention as a long-range strategy, consistent with the provisions of this subchapter, for reducing air pollution and other adverse impacts of energy production and use.

(July 14, 1955, ch. 360, title IV, § 401, as added Pub. L. 101–549, title IV, § 401, Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2584.)
Codification

Another section 401 of act July 14, 1955, as added by Pub. L. 91–604, § 14, Dec. 31, 1970, 84 Stat. 1709, is set out as a Short Title note under section 7401 of this title.

Acid Deposition Standards

Pub. L. 101–549, title IV, § 404, Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2632, directed Administrator of Environmental Protection Agency, not later than 36 months after Nov. 15, 1990, to transmit to Congress a report on the feasibility and effectiveness of an acid deposition standard or standards to protect sensitive and critically sensitive aquatic and terrestrial resources.

Industrial SO2 Emissions

Pub. L. 101–549, title IV, § 406, Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2632, provided that:

“(a)Report.—
Not later than January 1, 1995 and every 5 years thereafter, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall transmit to the Congress a report containing an inventory of national annual sulfur dioxide emissions from industrial sources (as defined in title IV of the Act [42 U.S.C. 7651 et seq.]), including units subject to section 405(g)(6) of the Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. 7651d(g)(6)], for all years for which data are available, as well as the likely trend in such emissions over the following twenty-year period. The reports shall also contain estimates of the actual emission reduction in each year resulting from promulgation of the diesel fuel desulfurization regulations under section 214 [42 U.S.C. 7548].
“(b) 5.60 Million Ton Cap.—
Whenever the inventory required by this section indicates that sulfur dioxide emissions from industrial sources, including units subject to section 405(g)(5) of the Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. 7651d(g)(5)], may reasonably be expected to reach levels greater than 5.60 million tons per year, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall take such actions under the Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.] as may be appropriate to ensure that such emissions do not exceed 5.60 million tons per year. Such actions may include the promulgation of new and revised standards of performance for new sources, including units subject to section 405(g)(5) of the Clean Air Act, under section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. 7411(b)], as well as promulgation of standards of performance for existing sources, including units subject to section 405(g)(5) of the Clean Air Act, under authority of this section. For an existing source regulated under this section, ‘standard of performance’ means a standard which the Administrator determines is applicable to that source and which reflects the degree of emission reduction achievable through the application of the best system of continuous emission reduction which (taking into consideration the cost of achieving such emission reduction, and any nonair quality health and environmental impact and energy requirements) the Administrator determines has been adequately demonstrated for that category of sources.
“(c)Election.—
Regulations promulgated under section 405(b) of the Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. 7651d(b)] shall not prohibit a source from electing to become an affected unit under section 410 of the Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. 7651i].”

[For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of reporting provisions in section 406(a) of Pub. L. 101–549, set out above, see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and the 10th item on page 162 of House Document No. 103–7.]

Sense of Congress on Emission Reductions Costs

Pub. L. 101–549, title IV, § 407, Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2633, provided that:

“It is the sense of the Congress that the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 [Pub. L. 101–549, see Tables for classification], through the allowance program, allocates the costs of achieving the required reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen among sources in the United States. Broad based taxes and emissions fees that would provide for payment of the costs of achieving required emissions reductions by any party or parties other than the sources required to achieve the reductions are undesirable.”
Monitoring of Acid Rain Program in Canada

Pub. L. 101–549, title IV, § 408, Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2633, provided that:

“(a)Reports to Congress.—
The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Energy, and other persons the Administrator deems appropriate, shall prepare and submit a report to Congress on January 1, 1994, January 1, 1999, and January 1, 2005.
“(b)Contents.—
The report to Congress shall analyze the current emission levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in each of the provinces participating in Canada’s acid rain control program, the amount of emission reductions of sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen achieved by each province, the methods utilized by each province in making those reductions, the costs to each province and the employment impacts in each province of making and maintaining those reductions.
“(c)Compliance.—
Beginning on January 1, 1999, the reports shall also assess the degree to which each province is complying with its stated emissions cap.”