National Enforcement Initiative: Reducing Air Pollution from the Largest Sources

a coal-fired power plant
A coal-fired power plant

Fast Fact

Coal-fired power plants emitted over 4.5 million tons of SO2 and over 1.6 million tons of NOx in 2010. (Source: CAMD Acid Rain Database)


The New Source Review (NSR) and Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) requirements of the Clean Air Act require certain large industrial facilities to install state-of-the-art air pollution controls when they build new facilities or make significant modifications to existing facilities.  EPA investigations reveal that many facilities failed to install pollution controls after modifications, causing them to emit pollutants that can impact air quality and public health. 


This initiative has focused on ensuring that large industrial facilities, like coal fired power plants and acid, glass and cement manufacturing facilities, comply with the Clean Air Act when building new facilities or making modifications to existing ones. This initiative has resulted in significant cuts in air emissions, especially from coal fired power plants, since it began in 2005. EPA will continue to monitor the progress of existing settlement agreements to ensure actions required under those settlements are implemented and air pollution reduction targets are met.


Progress on Reducing Air Pollution from the Largest Sources

The following charts show EPA's progress in reducing emissions from under-controlled coal-fired utilities, cement, glass, and acid plants.

Map of coal-fired electric utilities: current level of NSR/PSD air pollution controls