U.S. Clean Air Programs

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Ability for States to Set Clean Air Standards

States and localities have the authority to elevate the standards set up by the Clean Air Act, based on Section 116 of the Act, as long as these standards are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency through the State Implementation Plan process. Nevada and Colorado are examples of states with more stringent air quality standards than the ones established nationally.

What the Federal Clean Air Act (CAA) Says?

  • According to the book "Non-degradation Policy of the Clean Air Act: Hearing, Ninety-third Congress", section 116 of the federal Clean Air Act allows each State to set standards that are more strict than the national standard.
  • Section 116 indicates that each State has the authority to enforce and establish more stringent regulations and standards when it comes to air quality, even if those are more strict than the ones provided by EPA.
  • However, while the Act gives the authority to elevate the standards, it does not give authority to reduce the national air quality standard levels to the States or localities.
  • The CAA says that each State is responsible for developing its plans and initiatives to comply with the national standards and follow up on the implementation.
  • The national air quality standards are provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • A complete copy of the Clean Air Act can be found on EPA's website, as well as the entire Section 116.
  • Additionally, the government of the US created the Air Now website so its residents can review the air quality status of the different States and localities and the regulations for each region.

State Implementation Plan (SIP) Process

  • When a new National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) is implemented in the country, each State is required to create a State Implementation Plan (SIP) that indicates if they will follow the standard provided and how, or if they will set up their own standards based on this new limitation.
  • The plan must be created by the State's Government and the State's environmental agency in charge of air quality and submitted for approval to EPA, to demonstrate that 1) the State has programs in place to comply with the basic requirements or the standards set up by them, and 2) the control mechanism to follow up on those programs.
  • Within two years of creating the new NAAQS, the State determines the attainment areas to implement their standards based on the air monitoring tests they presented to EPA. Also, EPA will designate areas they considered that need to be included.
  • During the next 36 months, each area will present their strategies to comply with the standards and be evaluated to control the air quality.
  • All plans should be available publicly, submitted to EPA, and approved.
  • During the approval period, the public can provide their input about the plan, which will be taken into consideration before deciding if the plan is approved or not.
  • Once approved, the State can follow up on the plan and use these measures in federal court; however, if the plan is not approved, EPA provides a federal implementation plan (FIP) instead.

States/Localities Implementing Stricter Standards

  • At the moment, there are 22 states, besides California and the Columbia District suing the government to continue using quality standards that are more stringent than the national standards, especially focused on car emissions.
  • The 22 states and localities suing for their use of more strict air quality standards are the localities of Los Angeles, and the City of New York; and the States of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  • Thirteen of these states follow California's emissions standards, while the other nine have their own air quality standards.
  • For example, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) created the Clean Diesel Program, intended to establish more stringent standards in the Cities of Reno and Clark County to reduce Diesel emission.
  • Also, Colorado has created its own Low Emission Vehicles regulation with air quality standards that are more strict than national standards but are concerned about having their standards rollback to national standards if allowed by the federal government.
Part
02
of six
Part
02

California Emissions versus Federal

There are fundamental differences between California air quality standards and those of the Federal Clean Air Act, with California's regulations generally more strict and stringent than the national limits allowed. The two policies also differ greatly in specific details such as the levels of certain pollutants allowed at different time intervals, including lead, particulate matter, and other emissions. As of September 2019, fourteen states all together have adopted California's air quality standards.

Fundamental Differences

  • With transportation being the largest source of emissions in the country, California's current rule states that cars should obtain at least 54.5 miles to the gallon by the year 2025. Federal EPA requirements and the current administration seek for the standard to be 37 miles per gallon.
  • For the standards of pollutants allowed in both laws, vastly different instances of exposure at the stated limits are allowed. For example, California standards for ozone, carbon monoxide (except 8-hour Lake Tahoe), nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide (1 and 24 hour), and particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5, and visibility reducing particles), are listed as values that are not to be exceeded, while all other pollutants are not to be equaled or exceeded, at any given time. On the other hand, national standards listed (other than ozone, particulate matter, and those based on annual arithmetic mean) are not to be exceeded more than once a year.

Pollutant Level Standards

  • Respirable particulate matter (or tiny particles that are easily inhaled deep into the lungs and bodily system that may cause a host of harmful health effects), are allowed at 50 μg/m in a 24-hour window according to California standards, but national standards have it listed at 3 times those levels in the same time period at 150 μg/m. California also allows for a 20 μg/m level for an annual mean, while the national standards do not list any limits for this time frame.
  • California has the limits of lead emissions (from piston-engine aircraft engines, and the metal and ore processing industries for example), at a safe level of 1.5 μg/m in a 30-day average window only, while national standards do not list a 30-day average, but have the same level of 1.5 μg/m for one quarter of the year for certain areas, and 0.15 μg/m for a rolling three month average.
  • Visibility reducing particles, sulfates, hydrogen sulfide, and vinyl chloride are all listed as toxic at certain levels according to California standards but not listed at all under national standards or limits.

States that have Adopted California's Emission Standards

  • States that have adopted the same emission measures as California include: New York (1993), Massachusetts (1995), Vermont (2000), Maine (2001), Pennsylvania (2001), Connecticut (2008), Rhode Island (2008), Washington (2009), Oregon (2009), New Jersey (2009), Maryland (2011), Delaware (2014), and Colorado (2022).



Part
03
of six
Part
03

Lincoln, NE Air Regulations

The Lincoln, Nebraska, and Lancaster County Health Department Air Pollution Control Program includes a variety of laws, regulations, codes, and resolutions (at the city, county, and state levels) that comprise 77 sections of legal language occupying over 125 pages. This body of law regulates specific substances, requires appropriate permits, requires annual emissions reports and potential tests, and regulates other aspects of air quality-related structures and activities.

The Lincoln, Nebraska, Air Quality Regulations Components

  • Lincoln Municipal Code (LMC) Chapter 4.40 Air Pollution Control Agency. The code regulates air pollution in the City of Lincoln, in Lancaster County, and in villages within Lancaster County.
  • Lincoln Municipal Code (LMC) Chapter 8.06 ‒ Air Pollution. The code defines terms, specifies the duties of a director, and explains other aspects of the regulation of air pollution.
  • Lincoln Municipal Code (LMC) Chapter 8.50 ‒ Lincoln Smoking Regulation Act. This code authorizes the Director of the Health Department to enforce the code regulations.
  • Lincoln-Lancaster County Air Pollution Control Program Regulations & Standards (LLCAPCPRS). This body of regulations and standards sets out in great detail the specifics of air pollution regulation in the region.

The LLCAPCPRS Regulate Specific Substances in Article 2, Sec. 4

The LLCAPCPRS Require Appropriate Permits in Article 2

  • Class I Major Source Permits (stationary sources of hazardous air pollutants) are explained in Article 2.

The LLCAPCPRS Require Annual Emissions Reports and Tests

  • Annual reports are required of operators who must pay an annual fee "for emissions of regulated air pollutants". (See Section 6, Article 2.)
  • "The Department may require any person responsible for the operation of an emission source to make or have tests made to determine the rate of contaminant emissions from the source whenever it has reason to believe, on the basis of estimates of potential contaminant emissions rates from the source and due consideration of probable efficiency of any existing control device, or visible emission determinations made by an official observer, that existing emissions exceed the limitations required in the LLCAPCPRS." (See Section 34, Article 2.)

The LLCAPCPRS Regulate Other Aspects

Violations of the LLCAPCPRS and other Codes

  • An example of a 2010 violation of one of the provisions of the Regulations is the Sarpy County Sanitary Landfill, that was charged with a violation of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) permit requirements. The Landfill paid a fine of $10,080 and was ordered to "spend an additional $34,218 on heavy equipment improvements designed to reduce harmful diesel engine emissions..." This violation did not occur in Lancaster County, but is an example of what could occur there. The Nebraska DEQ permit regulations are included in the LLCAPCPRS.
  • Another example of a violation of one of the provisions of the Regulations is the refusal of Sylvester's Bar and Lounge to prohibit smoking in its establishment, also in 2010. The owner was ordered to pay $500 in fines for three no-smoking violations, was threatened with the loss of his liquor license, and was sentenced to one year of probation. This violation did not occur in Lancaster County, but is an example of what could occur there. The smoking ban is part of the Clean Air Act and the State of Nebraska regulations.

Research Strategy

The Lincoln, Nebraska, and Lancaster County Health Department Air Pollution Control Program Regulations and Standards are so extensive that it was not possible to provide a summary of all their main components. We selected four areas to highlight: (1) regulating of specific substances, (2) permit requirements, (3) annual emissions reports and potential tests requirements, and (4) regulation of other aspects of air quality-related structures and activities. Space does not permit a recitation of each of the sections that specify rules for even these four components. We searched extensively in Lincoln, Nebraska, newspapers for reports of air quality violations, but found none. We searched for violations of the federal Clean Air Act (which is included in the Regulations by reference), but were not able to find information tying large corporations (such as Koch Industries, Archer Daniels Midland, for example) to specific locations of their facilities in Nebraska. An examination of the case law made in the trial courts and appeals courts of Nebraska might discover violations of local air pollution regulations, but such a study was beyond the scope of our research.


Part
04
of six
Part
04

Baltimore Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act was created to regulate the pollutants emitted by commercial solid waste incinerators. The regulations require continuous monitoring of emissions from commercial incinerators and daily emission reports. It establishes the pollutants that should be monitored as well as their maximum limits. Air monitoring contractors are required to report emissions, inspect the facilities, and provide graphical reports for public viewing. A detailed overview of the Baltimore Clean Air Act is presented below.

Pollutants to be Monitored

  • Commercial solid waste incinerators with facilities in Baltimore are required to work with a certified air monitoring contractor who will install and maintain a "Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS)" that is capable of measuring, monitoring, and generating emission reports of the selected pollutants.
  • Several pollutants are monitored including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, dioxins, diofulans, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulfur dioxides, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds.
  • Metallic elements including cadmium, lead, arsenic, chromium, mercury, manganese, zinc, selenium, and nickel are also monitored.
  • When a facility is in operation, its CEMS should be running at all times. If the system is not working for more than thirty minutes, the facility is considered to have violated the Clean Air Act.

Emission Limits and Adoption of New Standards

  • The act sets the emission limits applicable from January 2020 for all solid waste incineration facilities in Baltimore. The maximum emission limit for sulfur dioxide is 18 parts/million measured on dry volume while mercury has an upper limit of 15 micrograms/dry cubic meter.
  • As a follow-up on the limits that are currently under enforcement, the facilities will conform to new limits from January 2020. Nitrogen oxide emissions will be limited at 45 parts/million measured on dry volume while furans and dioxins will have a maximum emission limit of 2.6 nanograms/dry cubic meter.
  • In the event where the EPA or the Maryland government adopts a new standard that is more stringent compared to the current emission standards in place, all facilities are expected to operate within the provisions of the most stringent limits of the two regulations.

CEMS Reports

  • The law requires every commercial solid waste incinerator in Baltimore to provide a comprehensive daily report with clear details about its daily emissions of the monitored pollutants. If the CEMS has experienced any downtimes, the facility must include a valid reason in the daily report.
  • To uphold data validity and verification, the facility is required to grant the air monitoring contractor sufficient access to its operations. If a new monitoring contractor starts working with the facility, it is obligated to provide the contractor with all the reports that were previously submitted to the Baltimore City's environment department as well as the previous monitoring contractor.
  • Upon submitting the daily reports, the Baltimore City assumes ownership immediately.

Data Disclosure

  • The air monitoring contractors working with the facilities are required to provide all the daily reports to the public via a website that is capable of displaying graphic presentations and it should be fully accessible to the public.
  • Similarly, the monitoring contractor must furnish the Health Commissioner with the facility's reports alongside the raw data associated with the monitored emissions.
  • The report should be submitted during various circumstances including when a facility exceeds the emission limits, the Health Commissioner makes a request, and at regular intervals determined by the Commissioner.

Inspections

  • Air monitoring contractors working with a facility should perform inspections periodically to determine if the monitoring system is in good working condition.
  • The Health Commissioner decides the time and intervals at which the inspections are carried out. The facilities are not informed about the exact time of an upcoming inspection in order to maintain the efficiency of the inspection exercise.
  • For any reason, a facility should not have less than four annual inspections.

Certification of Air Monitoring Contractors

  • Before getting the air monitoring certificate, a contractor must demonstrate the financial and technical capacity to procure and install CEMS equipment at a regulated facility. In addition, they must prove their capacity to carry out the required inspections and develop or use the necessary software to record daily emissions data and present it for public viewing.
  • To receive the certification for air monitoring, an applicant should not have any previous contracts with the facilities in question unless it was in the capacity of an air monitoring contractor in the last ten years.
  • The Baltimore City Health Department is responsible for verifying whether the applicants meet all the certification requirements. The applicants are certified within 90 days of submitting their details for assessment as well as paying the application fee.

Criminal Penalties

  • Entities found in violation of the Clean Air Act are considered guilty of a misdemeanor, and they can be convicted. Offenders are subject to "not more than 90 days" of imprisonment or a fine of "not more than $1,000". It is also possible to be handed both sentences for each offense committed.
  • If a facility/person violates multiple provisions of this law simultaneously, each violation is considered a separate offense that can lead to multiple convictions at once. In addition, the Clean Air Act stipulates that "each day that a violation continues" will translate into a separate offense.
  • Commercial solid waste incinerators in Baltimore are fined $1,000 for violating the prohibited emissions limits while a violation of all other provisions attracts a $100 fine. The enforcement of this act can be carried out through citations, civil remedies, and criminal remedies.

Additional Information

  • Wheelabrator and Curtis Bay Energy are the largest commercial solid waste incinerators operating in Baltimore. The owners considered closing the facilities saying that it was "impossible to retrofit their plants to meet the standards".
  • The council has passed resolutions to develop a zero-waste plan and direct the city's waste to recycling channels in an attempt to void its reliance on burning waste.
  • In April 2019, Wheelabrator and Curtis Bay Energy sued the Baltimore City in an attempt to overturn the Baltimore Clean Air Act. They argued that the recently-introduced regulation was a scheme to force the two companies to wind up their operations. The case is pending in court and it is expected to be resolved in 2020.

Research Strategy

To provide a summary of the main components of the Baltimore Clean Air Act, we consulted recent credible sources for reports, publications, and press releases with information surrounding the Baltimore Clean Air Act. We found the main tenets of the Act but we could not find details about the actions that have been taken when the regulation was violated. We searched through publications like Climatecase Chart and Casetext since they list various cases related to environmental regulations. We also searched for press releases and reports on local news outlets and industry publications like the Baltimore Sun, the Waste Dive, and the Waste Today Magazine. In all these, we only came across reports of an ongoing case filed by Wheelabrator and Curtis Bay Energy against Baltimore City in an attempt to overturn the Clean Air Act. Other cases pending in court where the Baltimore City is a party are not related to the Clean Air Act and were filed before it was enacted.

Part
05
of six
Part
05

California Emissions Standards

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is the regulatory entity that controls California's automobile emissions standards. In 2012, CARB adopted a set of regulations to control emissions from passenger vehicles, collectively called "Advanced Clean Cars." The program regulates pollutants and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through three main areas: (1) Low-Emission Vehicle III Regulation (LEV III Criteria); (2) GHG (LEVEL III GHG emissions); (3) Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV).

California's Emissions Standards: An Overview

  • California has been at the forefront of cleaning up air pollution, as it started to address pollution problems in the 1960s, before the federal government got interested in cleaning up the air through the EPA.
  • The Clean Air Act, passed in 1963, allows the EPA to set standards for air pollution from cars, but it prevents states from creating their own standards.
  • California received a waiver from the federal government to continue with its clean air programs since it already had numerous efforts under way; now the Trump administration is seeking to roll back that waiver and force California to comply with the less stringent regulations of the EPA.
  • California's current rule mandates that cars must get 54.5 miles to the gallon by 2025, while the federal government's requirement is 37 mpg.
  • Currently 12 other states and the District of Colombia follow California's stricter emissions standards.
  • California's emissions standards are stricter on hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions from vehicles, and they require older construction vehicles to be retrofitted to operate more cleanly.

Low-Emission Vehicle III Criteria

Low-Emission Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Regulation

  • In 2012, CARB approved the LEV III GHG regulation, requiring further GHG emission reductions for vehicle model years 2017 onward.
  • The GHG regulation is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emission from new vehicles by about 40% in 2025, over vehicles manufactured in 2012.
  • The new standards will be met by a combination of new technologies in engine and emission control, broader use of advanced hybrid technology, and more widespread use of stronger, lighter materials.
  • California's heavy-duty vehicle GHG emission reduction regulations require heavy-duty tractors and trucks 53 feet or longer to use fuel-efficient tires and certain other devices that lower GHG emissions.

Zero-Emission Vehicle Regulation

  • The goal of the Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Regulation is to encourage consumers to buy clean cars.
  • The state's long-term emission reduction goals will be achieved by a combination of requiring auto manufacturers to offer for sale specific numbers of the cleanest cars manufactured.
  • Manufacturers with higher gross vehicle sales will be required to make more ZEVs.
  • These requirements are stated in terms of percent credits (which refers to the electric driving range of a vehicle, with more credits for larger driving range), rising from 4.5% in 2018, to 22% by 2025.
  • Credits that a manufacturer does not need in a given year for compliance may be banked for future use, traded, or sold to other manufacturers.
  • The technologies employed in this effort include full battery-electric automobiles, hydrogen fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles.
  • The most recent estimates from CARB using publicly available information indicate that around 8% of new vehicle sales in California in 2025 will be ZEVs and plug-in hybrids.

Violation of Emissions Standards

Part
06
of six
Part
06

U.S. Federal Clean Air Act

The US federal Clean Air Act is primarily comprised of four main tenants. Later, several Congressional amendments also enhanced these components, as well as added several new key provisions.

Key Components Overview

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)

State Implementation Plans (SIPs)

  • In parallel, with the establishment of NAAQS standards, another significant component of the CAA is that it directs states to develop State Implementation Plans (SIPs), according to Professor Stavins, Professor Schmalensee, the Encyclopedia Britannica and Inc. Encyclopedia.
  • Specifically, the law charges all US states to develop SIPs to effectively implement the federal NAAQS within their relevant jurisdictions.
  • Overall, this provision ensures that all states reduce the levels of the six criteria air pollutants under NAAQS, or face substantial “non-attainment” fines and penalties.
  • Notably, this portion of the CAA also gives the EPA to the right to require modifications to these plans.

New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)

  • A third key tenant of the CAA per Harvard, MIT and other credible references is its development of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS).
  • Specifically, the CAA enables the EPA to develop NSPS guidelines for power plants and other "stationary pollution sources."
  • Additionally, the CAA requires the EPA to develop emissions standards for new motor vehicles, and empowers the federal governing body to regulate related fuel sources.
  • Overall, these provisions primarily regulate emissions that could impact air quality, the environmental and energy requirements.
  • For example, the NSPS establish targets for the emission of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides by vehicles and assembly plants, and require new automobiles to meet stricter pollution standards through control equipment (e.g., catalytic converters) or by burning cleaner fuels.

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs)

  • Lastly, the CAA charges the EPA with developing National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs), as highlighted by Professor Stavins, Professor Schmalensee, the Encyclopedia Britannica and Inc. Encyclopedia.
  • In particular, the CAA requires the EPA to create NESHAPs guidelines for known air toxics to "protect the public health."
  • The air toxics regulated by this provision included substances such as benzene, which are primarily produced by manufacturing plants and "other isolated sources."
  • According to some experts, these requirements for new sources of hazardous air pollutants originally had the "perverse effect" of slowing environmental progress by resulting in the slower turnover of capital stock.
  • As such, the later 112-page 1977 Amendments to the CAA introduced a regime of Prevention of Significant Deterioration, which allowed for new stationary sources to be built in "non-attainment areas" if existing sources were modified to reduce overall emissions.
  • Additionally, these Amendments revised the NESHAPs to allow for technology-based control standards for air toxics rather than a reliance on less practical emissions standards.

1990 Amendments

  • In addition to these main components of the CAA, another 314-page package of amendments to the law was passed in 1990 which included several new but still significant provisions.
  • First, the package established a sulfur dioxide (SO2) cap and trade program, which was created to reduce acid rain to half of 1980 levels.
  • Second, the amendments expanded motor vehicle fuel regulations to include volatility, among other factors.
  • Third, the package required the EPA to issue technology standards for the already-determined list of 189 air toxics.
  • And, finally, the amendments gave the EPA the authority to ensure that the US met its obligations under the Montreal Protocol, including the banning of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons to stop the depletion of the planet's ozone layer.


Enforcement Examples

KMTEX, KTX, Crosby and Ramsey

Berkshire Power Company and Power Plant Management Services

  • Berkshire Power Company and Power Plant Management Services were sentenced in March 2017 to tampering with air pollution emissions equipment.
  • Among the results of this case, Berkshire plead guilty to three counts of violating the Clean Air Act and conspiracy.
  • Ultimately, BPC was ordered to pay $2.75 million in criminal fines and $750,000 in community service payments for violations of the Clean Air Act.
  • PPMS was similarly ordered to pay $500,000 in criminal fines and $250,000 in community service.
  • Additionally, both firms paid more than $3 million in civil penalties.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • "It is the intent and purpose of this Resolution to provide methods and procedures for the control of air pollution; to achieve and maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards; to empower the Director to investigate and abate violations of said standards and regulations; to prescribe the duties of the Director and the Air Pollution Control Advisory Board; and to prescribe penalties for violations of this Resolution as adopted in accordance therewith. "
  • "The emission or escape into the open air from any source or sources whatsoever of smoke, ashes, dust, dirt, grime, acids, fumes, gases, vapors, odors, or any other substances or combinations of substances, in such manner or in such amounts as to endanger or tend to endanger the health, comfort, safety, or ,welfare of the public, or is unreasonably offensive and objectionable to the public, or shall cause unreasonable injury or damage to property or interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of property or normal conduct of business, is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. It shall be unlawful for any person to cause, permit, or maintain any such public nuisance. "
Quotes
  • "7-001.02 The purpose of the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act is to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting smoking in public places and places of employment. The Act shall not be construed to prohibit or otherwise restrict smoking in outdoor areas. The Act shall not be construed to permit smoking where it is prohibited or otherwise restricted by other applicable law, ordinance, or resolution. "
  • "7-003.01 General Prohibition: Smoking is prohibited in all public places and indoor places of employment. The definition of an indoor area can be found in 178 NAC 7-002. "
  • "7-006.01 Child care programs that are not located in the residence of the child care provider must be smoke free environments."
Quotes
  • "Local air quality regulations include those set forth in the ‘Lincoln-Lancaster County Air Pollution Control Program Regulations and Standards’ (LLCAPCPRS), the Lincoln Municipal Code (LMC), and Lancaster County Resolutions. These local regulations are reviewed and approved by the Air Pollution Control Advisory Board and the Lancaster County Board of Health prior to adoption by the Lincoln City Council and the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners."
  • "It is the intent and purpose of the Air Pollution Control Program to implement and enforce an air pollution control program consistent with the Clean Air Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) within the corporate limits of the city and the zoning jurisdiction of the city and within Lancaster County according to the authority the City, County or the Lincoln Lancaster County Health Department may have available"
Quotes
  • "The Sarpy County Sanitary Landfill has agreed to pay a $10,080 fine and will spend an additional $34,218 on heavy equipment improvements designed to reduce harmful diesel engine emissions as part of an agreement reached with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7. The EPA alleged the landfill failed to make a timely application for a proper environmental permit following expansion in 2005. According to the EPA, the landfill near Springfield violated the federal Clean Air Act when it failed to apply for a Title V operating permit from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality within 15 months of expanding."
Quotes
  • "A Broken Bow bar owner who thumbed his nose at the state's smoking ban last year has been given a reprieve. Rather than close Sylvester's Bar & Lounge, the three-member Liquor Control Commission gave owner Henry Schumacher one year of probation. If Schumacher is found guilty of any Clean Indoor Air Act violation during that year, the commission will cancel his license immediately, according to a commission order passed unanimously Wednesday. Last month, commissioners threatened to close the bar because of Schumacher's flagrant disregard of the no-smoking ban that took effect June 1, 2009. ...Schumacher paid $500 in fines for three no-smoking violations last year before the Custer County Court issued an injunction requiring him to follow the law and the commission threatened to pull his liquor license. "