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Air Quality Management Agency Engagement with State Energy Agencies

Air Quality Management Agency Engagement with State Energy Agencies

Full Title: Air Quality Management Agency Engagement with State Energy Agencies
Author(s): Matthew McDonnell, Joe Goodenbery, and Jennifer Gorman
Publisher(s): National Council on Electricity Policy
Publication Date: February 1, 2024
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

Air quality management agencies, also known as air pollution or air quality control agencies, fulfill a unique role in the energy ecosystem. As set forth by state law and the Clean Air Act (CAA), air quality agencies’ responsibilities include development and implementation of air quality plans to achieve National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and other federal and state standards. Air quality management agencies also have responsibility over permitting and assuring compliance of certain stationary emissions sources (e.g., power plants), regulating emissions from vehicles and other mobile sources, operating air quality monitoring networks, developing emissions inventories, and related activities.

With a growing focus on air quality as it relates to decarbonization, state air quality management agencies are facing increased obligations on the federal and state level to monitor greenhouse gas emissions and create and implement climate and greenhouse gas policies and programs. These factors mean that air quality management agencies are more frequently interfacing and collaborating with other state agencies involved in the energy ecosystem, notably territory and state energy offices, public utility commissions (PUCs), and departments of transportation (DOTs). The need for cross agency engagement is familiar to air regulators, who are accustomed to working on problems in collaboration with other agencies because of the cross-sectoral sources and impacts of air pollution.

The relationship among air quality management agencies, state energy offices and PUCs differs in each state based on organizational configurations, institutional norms, priority energy topics within the state, and how each agency views its role within the energy ecosystem. This mini guide describes ways in which air quality management agencies, state energy offices, and PUCs interact, identifies topics for coordination, and provides examples of effective collaboration. To inform the guide, the authors conducted interviews with utility commissioners, state energy and air quality directors, and staff within states that have been successful in forming effective working relationships across agencies. The three states interviewed for this mini guide offer different perspectives and approaches to collaboration and the maintenance of valuable interagency relationships.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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