NTAA: Air Topics

NTAA Air Topics:

NAAQS - Lead

The Clean Air Act, which was last amended in 1990, requires EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for wide-spread pollutants from numerous and diverse sources considered harmful to public health and the environment. The Clean Air Act established two types of national air quality standards. Primary standards set limits to protect public health, including the health of "sensitive" populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly. Secondary standards set limits to protect public welfare, including protection against visibility impairment, damage to animals, crops, vegetation, and buildings. The Clean Air Act requires periodic review of the science upon which the standards are based and the standards themselves.

EPA has set NAAQS for six principal pollutants, which are called "criteria" pollutants. They are listed below. For a summary table of the current NAAQS, click on the following link: NAAQS Table.

Lead (Pb) is a metal found naturally in the environment as well as in manufactured products. The major sources of lead emissions have historically been motor vehicles (such as cars and trucks) and industrial sources. As a result of EPA's regulatory efforts to remove lead from gasoline, emissions of lead from the transportation sector dramatically declined by 95 percent between 1980 and 1999, and levels of lead in the air decreased by 94 percent between 1980 and 1999. Today, the highest levels of lead in air are usually found near lead smelters. Other stationary sources are waste incinerators, utilities, and lead-acid battery manufacturers.

Significance to Tribes
NTAA Documents

NTAA model comment letter for Tribes - Lead NAAQS - 2003

Related Documents

New Federal Equivalent Method for Pb Sampling

Related Links

Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma Tar Creek Air Monitoring Project

American Lung Association - Lead website