Air Quality and Compliance Improving in Pennsylvania
Updated: Aug 28
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (PADEP) 1998 Annual Report, both air quality and the compliance rate for air quality regulations/programs have improved since 1997.
PADEP reports that in 1998, the one-hour ozone standards were exceeded just 12 times on 10 days, compared to 21 times over 7 days in 1997. PADEP believes that this decrease could be a result of the new Ozone Action Program in the Susquehanna Valley and the new Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program.
Statewide compliance with air quality programs and regulations was a remarkable 99.9% in 1998. PADEP’s Air Quality Program inspected nearly 8,000 facilities with only 16% receiving violations. PADEP collected over $3.5 million in penalties. Interestingly, the most common significant violation involved fugitive emissions, which are the most easily observed and thus result in citizen complaints.
The 2001 Annual Report has been published with good news. Overall air quality in Pennsylvania has improved. The one-hour ozone standards were exceeded in 14 locations on 4 days. Starting in 2002, additional air quality requirements for PM10 (particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter) and PM2.5 (particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) will be enacted. These liquid and solid particles make breathing difficult especially for those with asthma and for children and lead to decreased visibility. Data on PM10 and PM2.5 was collected starting in 1999 in order to develop the new standards for 2002.
The 2001 Annual Report and all past reports since 1996 are available at http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/aq/aqm/aqreport.htm