The Clean Air Act (CAA) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) is a comprehensive Federal law that regulates all sources of air emissions. The 1970 CAA authorized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and the environment. The States were directed to develop State implementation plans (SIPs), which consist of emission reduction strategies, with the goal of achieving the NAAQS by the legislated date.
The 1977 CAA amendments set more rigorous requirements for reducing emissions in areas that do not meet the NAAQS and established the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) regulations for areas that already meet the NAAQS. The PSD regulations are designed to prevent any significant deterioration in air quality above an established baseline level.
The 1990 amendments to the CAA in large part were intended to meet unaddressed or insufficiently addressed problems such as acid rain, ground-level ozone, stratospheric ozone depletion, visibility, and air toxics.
Common air pollutants regulated by the EPA include nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC), ozone (O3), and lead (Pb).
Regulation of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Air Emission Sources
BOEM has jurisdiction over Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) air emissions in the Gulf of Mexico west of 87.5 degrees West longitude (off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama). BOEM also has jurisdiction over OCS air emissions within the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in Alaska according to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012. In all other OCS areas, the EPA has jurisdiction, as mandated by Section 328 of the CAA.
BOEM's air regulations are presented in 30 CFR 550.302 through 304.
For more information about managing air quality emissions on the OCS, see