Cutting Hazardous Air Pollutants
Leaks, flares, and excess emissions from refineries, chemical plants and other industries emit hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), or air toxics, that are known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects, and seriously impact the environment.
- Leaking equipment is the largest source of HAP emissions from petroleum refineries and chemical manufacturing facilities.
- Recent monitoring shows that facilities typically emit more HAP emissions than they actually report.
- Improper operation of an industrial flare can result in hundreds of tons of excess HAP emissions.
EPA will target and reduce illegal emissions of toxic air pollutants from leaks and flares, as well as target and reduce excess emissions, at facilities that have a significant impact on air quality and health in communities.
Enforcement actions in 2010 resulted in reducing lifetime air toxics cancer risk to less than 1 in a million for more than 900,000 people.
Progress on Enforcement and Compliance Activities
The following maps and charts show EPA's progress in targeting and reducing illegal emissions of toxic air pollutants.
- Chart showing the number of EPA air toxics evaluations and concluded enforcement actions of facilities