Air Healthy to Breathe
Under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is required to set and review National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six common outdoor air pollutants (also known as “criteria” air pollutants): nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ground-level ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), and lead (Pb).
Four of these pollutants (NO2, SO2, CO, and Pb) emit directly from a variety of sources. Ozone is not directly emitted, but is formed when oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the presence of sunlight. PM can be emitted, or it can be formed when emissions of NOx, sulfur oxides (SOx), ammonia, organic compounds, and other gases react in the atmosphere.
It is important for states to regulate these pollutants to minimize harmful health effects to Americans. Learn more.
Ambient Air Pollution
In 1999, X out of x standards measured in Virginia were at or below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
Ambient (or atmospheric) air quality refers to the concentration of pollutants in the outdoor air. Ambient air is regulated by U.S. EPA and maintained by states through the NAAQS, which is the set of guidelines on acceptable concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ground-level ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), and lead (Pb). NAAQS seek to protect the public, especially “sensitive” populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly, from harmful ambient air pollutants.
For the purposes of ECOS Results, individual states had discretion with regard to the geographical scope of areas reported.
Percent Above or Below NAAQS Standard
This data reflects measurements taken in the Richmond Metro Area.
Less and Properly Managed Waste
To adequately protect public health and the environment from hazardous waste contamination, U.S. EPA and states implement the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the national framework of solid waste control. States employ various metrics to illustrate how waste is managed and whether facilities are complying with regulations.
Facilities Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) protects communities and promotes resource conservation through safe management and cleanup of solid and hazardous waste, and encouragement of source reduction and beneficial use. Learn more about RCRA.
% of RCRA Inspections in Which No Significant Non-Compliance is Found (RCRA Subtitle C)
RCRA Subtitle C provides “cradle-to-grave” regulation of hazardous waste by establishing management requirements for generators and transporters of hazardous waste and for owners and operators of hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. Under Subtitle C, U.S. EPA may authorize states to implement key provisions of the requirements, including permitting, enforcement, and corrective action or cleanup.
% of Underground Storage Tank Facilities in Significant Operational Compliance Over Time (RCRA Subtitle I)
An underground storage tank (UST) is a tank connected to piping that has at least ten percent of its combined volume underground. USTs may contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. U.S. EPA and states collaborate with industry to protect the public health and the environment from potential releases.
States and EPA are in the process of implementing new UST standards, which may have an effect on compliance rates.
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUST) Cleanups Completed that Meet Cleanup Standards*
Since xxxx, Virginia has completed xxxx LUST clean up projects.
When a leaking underground storage tank (LUST) releases a fuel product, contamination of the surrounding soil, groundwater, surface water, or indoor air can occur. Early detection of the leak, accurate determination of the source and type of fuel released, and appropriate cleanup response is critical for protecting public health and the environment.