The APCC and Other Government Agencies
The protection of air quality is a complex job that requires the cooperation of agencies at all levels of government.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
, under the authority of the federal Clean Air Act
, establishes national standards for permissible levels of contaminants in the air, for permissible quantities of emissions of those contaminants, and for the use of pollution-control equipment. It also runs voluntary, informational, and grant-making programs to encourage the reduction of pollutant emissions.
The Commonwealth's Department of Environmental Protection
applies Massachusetts law and federal requirements in Massachusetts by issuing additional regulations as necessary and granting permits to various sources of air pollution. In general, federal and state agencies deal with large-scale sources (for example, power plants and large factories) and with mobile sources (cars and trucks) of pollution; and both have enforcement branches.
In the City of Boston, the Air Pollution Control Commission (APCC) and the Boston Public Health Commission
have complementary responsibilities. In general, the BPHC has responsibility for indoor air, environmental odors, and acute releases of toxic substances; in addition, the BPHC conducts studies on the health effects of local air pollution.
The APCC works actively with all of these agencies. For example, the Greater Boston Breathes Better
partnership brings together federal, state, and several municipal governments as well as NGOs and private enterprises to discuss, plan, and publicize joint actions to improve air quality in eastern Massachusetts.
For more information, please contact:
Air Pollution Control Commission
Boston Environment Department
City Hall, Room 805
Boston, MA 02201