EPA Strategy Targets 33 Air Toxics, 29 Industries

It's little surprise that 18- to 34-year-olds are at the heart of a nationwide increase in illegal drug use, and the manufacturing industry traditionally draws heavily from this pool of job seekers.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its national air toxics program, announced July 7 a strategy to further reduce toxic air emissions in hundreds of areas across the country, especially in urban locations, by targeting 33 toxic air pollutants.

The 33 pollutants such as benzene, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have been identified as part of a strategy that includes goals to reduce cancer risks by 75 percent, to substantially reduce noncancer risks and to address areas where low-income and minority communities may be disproportionately affected by air toxic pollutants. Outlined in the strategy is how EPA will work with state and local governments to monitor air toxic levels and develop pollution-reduction plans.

Also targeted are 29 area source categories for the 33 air toxics. The list includes 13 additional industrial categories for reductions over the next five years. EPA's goal is to promulgate regulations by 2004 for the 13 new sources, which include plastic materials, resins, synthetic rubber and industrial inorganic/organic chemical manufacturing and oil and natural gas production. The agency has regulations under development or completed for the other 16 sources.

Complete lists and background documentation are available at www.epa.gov/ttn/oarpg under "recent actions." Additional information on the strategy is available at www.epa.gov/ttn/uatw/urban/urbanpg.html.

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