The Division of Air Quality Vision is:
Blue skies Delaware; Clean air for life
The Division of Air Quality Section Mission is:
To continuously optimize Delaware’s air quality by working with citizens and business to protect public health, welfare, and the environment.
- Implement the Clean Air Act as Amended (CAAA) with the assistance of the Governor's Cabinet Council, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA), and the Ozone Transport Commission (OTC).
- Attain and maintain the ozone air quality standard.
- Implement a permitting / compliance program that is environmentally sound, fosters least-cost compliance flexibility and is quickly responsive to changing market conditions.
- Protect Delaware's citizens from the potential impacts of toxic pollutants.
- Reduce emissions that contribute to acid rain.
- Evaluate the impact of air pollution on other environmental media.
- Accumulate, evaluate, record, and make available to the public and emergency responders, complete and accurate information on the storage, use and releases of toxic chemicals.
- Assure that facilities storing or using extremely hazardous substances are fully aware of the dangers, have properly planned to prevent catastrophic releases of these substances and are capable of reacting in a responsible and effective manner should such a release occur.
Background and Accomplishments
Since the passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, the department has made unprecedented progress in its efforts toward providing clean air to all its citizens. Delaware, as a result of past efforts, has attained and maintained the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for all pollutants except for Ozone (O3). By fully adopting and initiating implementation of a 15 percent Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) reduction plan and by developing a plan for additional control measures through 1999, the State has taken a major step in its efforts to attain the O3 standard by the statutory 2005 attainment date.
In addition to the significant progress made in developing effective and publicly acceptable plans, major actions were taken to assure that the plans can be efficiently implemented ensuring the accomplishment of their intended emission reduction goals at the least cost. The passage of the Title V fee legislation was paramount in this effort. These fees will provide the department with the resources necessary to assist and monitor industry activities by quickly developing fully permitted control programs that assure rapid and sustainable compliance with regulations that are the foundation of the plans noted above.
These additional permitting and compliance resources will also provide a higher degree of fairness to the regulated community by assuring that all potentially affected sources are identified and are in compliance with the regulations, thus eliminating or significantly reducing the number of "non-notifiers." To assure that permitting and compliance activities are as efficient as possible, the department, working with affected industries, identified a number of permitting reforms and initiated activities to develop an emission trading and banking system that will provide for more flexible and lower cost compliance. The recent Chrysler plant-wide applicability limit (PAL) permit [?????-link] is an example of an innovative permitting procedure that provides both environmental protection and significant flexibility to the source to quickly adapt to changing market conditions.
In addition to these planning, permitting and compliance, inventory and monitoring initiatives, the air program reduced its permit processing time backlog, issued 400 exemptions and permits per year, conducted 170 compliance inspections per year, conducted 35 accidental release program site inspections per year, and operated and annually updated the hazardous chemical inventory for 1,400 facilities and the toxics release inventory for 75 facilities.
- Participate actively in Ozone Trasnport Commission (OTC), Ozone Transport Assessment Group (OTAG) and MARAMA activities.
- Direct the State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions as required by the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) of 1990.
- Promulgate new air regulations mandated by the CAAA.
- Develop and submit emission inventories consistent with the CAAA.
- Track air quality status, especially ozone attainment status.
- Oversee existing motor vehicle exhaust emission testing and the newly added pressure and anti-tampering tests.
- Increase inspections and continue permitting air contaminant sources pursuant to the new and more complex Title V permitting program.
- Expand the stack testing program in support of the enhanced permitting program.
- Continue to implement the CAAA Section 112(r) Accidental Release Program.
- Continue implementation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (EPCRA Program components.
- Implement the Small Business Technical Assistance Program.
- Administer and update the asbestos abatement program.
- Work with other public and private entities to develop or implement transportation control measures.
- Evaluate and take appropriate actions based on emission reduction requirements and the cost/benefits of a low emission vehicle program, or its equivalent, in Delaware.
- Continue enforcement activities to identify and bring significant violators and non-notifiers into compliance.
For more Information contact: