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Eastern U.S. Reducing Ozone-Forming Emissions
Power plants and other large facilities in the eastern U.S. are cutting ozone-forming emissions in accordance with an EPA cap and trade program.
The latest analysis illustrates that the EPA's NOx Budget Trading Program has reduced ozone-forming emissions 11 percent between 2004 and 2005 in the eastern U.S., according to the EPA.
The NOx Budget Trading Program is designed to significantly reduce the amount of ozone that moves across state boundaries during the warm summer months, when ozone concentrations are highest. To make these reductions, the rule requires NOx reductions in 19 eastern states and the District of Columbia.
Conducted as part of an annual report, the EPA found that eastern states have reduced the ozone-forming pollutant nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 57 percent since 2000 and by 72 percent since 1990. In addition, based on 2003-2005 air monitoring data, nearly 70 percent of the areas that did not meet the national air quality standard for 8-hour ozone in 2004 now have better air quality than the standard requires.
The program provides electric generating units such as manufacturing facilities with several options to reduce ozone season NOx emissions, such as adding NOx emission control technologies, replacing existing controls with more advanced technologies or optimizing existing controls. This flexibility, and an active NOx allowance market, has led to an over 99 percent compliance rate with the program's requirements.