Air Toxics: EPA Action on Cumulative Impacts

Vol. 31 No. 3

Ms. Gladd is an attorney with Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office and a member of the editorial board of Natural Resources & Environment . She can be reached at KGladd@bdlaw.com.

The health effects of air pollution are not borne equally across the population. Some communities, particularly environmental justice (EJ) communities, face elevated risks from potential exposure to air toxics as the result of proximity to multiple emitting sources. To address this issue of “cumulative impacts,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or the Agency) charged a workgroup of its advisory committee, the Air Toxics Workgroup (Workgroup) within the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee (CAAAC), with evaluating potential programs, communication strategies, and data gaps to advance EPA’s understanding of cumulative air toxics. This article provides a high-level overview of the issue and describes the initiatives EPA has implemented to date, as well as the next steps EPA has identified.

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