EPA to Improve Access, Transparency and Timeliness of Air Toxics Data and Risk Information

July 10, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a move to provide more frequent updates to national air toxics data and risk estimates as part of the agency’s commitment to making high-quality information available on a timely basis to the public, according to a press release from the EPA on June 23, 2021. The agency’s new approach will provide an annual, more systematic update for all air toxics information, including emissions, ambient concentrations, national screening risk estimates and monitoring data.

“Increasing transparency and providing the public with access to data are fundamental to improving air quality in America,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Our commitment is to provide communities, especially those disproportionately facing burdens of pollution and waste, with the most complete, frequent and useful information available about air pollution and its impacts.”

Since 2002, EPA has provided a national assessment of air toxics information every 3-4 years, with the most recent assessment in 2018, which was based on 2014 emissions data. EPA is focused on improving its approach to identify and address existing, emerging, and future air toxics issues in the United States. Annual data and risk analysis will help provide communities – especially those with environmental justice considerations – with more complete information about their air quality.

Over the next few years, the agency will be sharing risk information faster and more regularly with the public.

Starting later this year and continuing in future years, EPA will make information about the estimated risks of air toxics available to the public using the latest air emissions inventory – beginning with 2017. This information will be incorporated into the agency’s Environmental Justice Screening Tool, EJSCREEN, to help communities screen for potential risks. Ultimately, EPA will start reporting risk information each year in its annual Air Trends Report. This will enable the public to gain more timely air quality information on air toxics, as well as see trends in emissions and risks over time.

For more information: https://www.epa.gov/haps/improving-access-air-toxics-data