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Gasping for Breath: The Administrative Flaws of the Federal Hazardous Air Pollutant Program

81 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2006 Last revised: 14 Oct 2013

Victor Byers Flatt

University of Houston Law Center; University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law; University of Houston Global Energy Management Institute

Date Written: September 1, 2006

Abstract

This article explains the continuing problems with protecting human health under the current Federal Clean Air Act's Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) program. In particular, the article focuses on the difficulties in protecting the public from residual health risks, when maximum technological controls have been put into place on all sources. The article then examines the causes of this problem, concluding that they can be traced to problems in the statutory implementation and enforcement regime concerning residual health risks. This problem is not unique to health protection with air toxics and is consistent with general theories of implementation of public health protection statutes. The article then surveys fourteen states that have stricter protections than the federal government for residual risk from air toxics, and analyzes these states' success in reducing air toxic concentrations. The article then explores the commonalities of the programs of the most successful states, and from that produces recommendations for improving the federal HAP program.

Keywords: air, toxic, hazardous, pollution, chemical, petrochemical, clean air act, ambient

Suggested Citation

Flatt, Victor Byers, Gasping for Breath: The Administrative Flaws of the Federal Hazardous Air Pollutant Program (September 1, 2006). Ecology Law Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 107, 2007; U of Houston Law Center Working Paper No. 2006-W-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=929211 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.929211

Victor Byers Flatt (Contact Author)

University of Houston Law Center ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States
713-922-0392 (Phone)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unc.edu/faculty/directory/details.aspx?cid=1022

University of Houston Global Energy Management Institute ( email )

Houston, TX 77204-6021
United States

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