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Air Quality Management in the United States
the AQM system incrementally rather than to transform it radically. The recommendations are also not intended to deter current ongoing AQM activities aimed at improving air quality. Indeed, even as these recommendations are implemented, there can be little doubt that important decisions to safeguard public health and welfare should continue to be made, often in the face of scientific uncertainty. Moreover, new opportunities and approaches for managing air quality will appear. These include addressing pollution problems in multiple environmental media, such as air and water, taking advantage of new technologies, and undertaking pollution prevention activities rather than controlling air pollutants after they have been produced.
Implementation of the recommendations will require the development of a detailed plan and schedule of steps. The committee urges EPA to convene an implementation task force from the key parties to prepare a plan of action and an analysis of legislative actions, if any are needed.
Implementation of the recommendations will also require additional resources. Although these resources are not insignificant, they should not be overwhelming. For example, consider the costs associated with air quality research and monitoring. Even a doubling of the approximate $200 million in EPA funds currently dedicated to air quality monitoring and research would represent about 1% of annual expenditures nationwide for complying with the CAA. Such resources are even smaller when compared with the costs imposed by the deleterious effects of air pollution on human health and welfare.
Implementation of the recommendations will require a commitment by all parties to stages of implementation over several years. As that transition occurs, it is important that action on individual programs to reduce emissions continues to maintain progress toward cleaner air.
The full complement of scientific and engineering disciplines will need to be prepared to take up the substantial challenges embodied in these recommendations. Given the opportunity, the committee believes that the scientific and engineering communities can provide the human resources and technologies needed to underpin an enhanced AQM system and to achieve clean air in the most expeditious and effective way possible.