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The U.S. Department of Energy's clean air compliance activities include the following areas:
Clean Air Working Group | U.S. Laws & Regulations | Orders | Compliance Assistance

Clean Air Working Group

The Clean Air Working Group (CAWG) provides a focal point for discussing air regulations, sharing lessons learned and best practices, coordinating comments on proposed policies and regulations, and developing training on air-related issues. For more information, or to join the CAWG, contact Larry Stirling at john.stirling@hq.doe.gov or (202) 586-2417.

Training Materials

Laws & Regulations


The primary law governing DOE air activities is the Clean Air Act. This law defines the role of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state, local, and tribal air programs in protecting and improving the nation's air quality and stratospheric ozone layer by regulating emissions from mobile and stationary sources. The CAA contains titles that:

  • Strengthen measures for attaining air quality standards (Title I)
  • Set forth provisions relating to mobile sources (Title II)
  • Expand the regulation of hazardous air pollutants (Title III)
  • Require substantial reductions in power plant emissions for control of acid rain (Title IV)
  • Establish operating permits for all major sources of air pollution (Title V)
  • Establish provisions for stratospheric ozone protection (Title VI)
  • Expand enforcement powers and penalties (Title VII)

Electronic copies of the Clean Air Act:

Additional air laws applicable to DOE activities is the National Environmental Policy Act. This law requires that federal activities determine their environmental impact.


The EPA issues regulations under its authority in the Clean Air Act. These regulations are published in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR).

NOTE: The official, most recent printed CFR from the Government Printing Office (GPO) is available at the GPO website. On this webpage, all links to the CFR are to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR), which is updated daily to incorporate new rules since the last CFR printing. It is not an official legal edition of the CFR; rather it is an editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments available from the Government Printing Office.

EPA air regulations are divided into several categories:

New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) 40 CFR, Part 60

NSPS regulates the emissions from new, modified, or reconstructed sources of air pollution by establishing minimum nationwide emission limitations for classes (or categories) of facilities. NSPS are set at levels that reflect the degree of control achievable through the application of the best system of continuous emission reduction that has been adequately demonstrated for that category of sources. The NSPS must take into consideration the cost of achieving such emissions reductions and any non-air quality health and environmental impacts and energy requirements.

eCFR - CFR with final rules added since last printing, Government Printing Office:

National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP - 40 CFR, Part 61) & Maximum Achievable Control Technologies (MACT - 40 CFR, Part 63)

NESHAP aim to control hazardous air pollutants (HAP) through science based, exposure and work practice standards. Between 1970 and 1990, EPA had established only seven NESHAP for eight HAPs. The 1990 CAA Amendments directed EPA to establish a new class of NESHAP with technology-based standards for 189 HAPs based on the use of "maximum achievable control technology" (MACT) using the best performing units in each category of existing similar sources.

eCFR - CFR with final rules added since last printing, Government Printing Office:

Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule (GHGMRR - 40 CFR, Part 98)

Greenhouse gases (GHG) are gases in the atmosphere that absorb infrared radiation. Water vapor, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, nitrous oxide, methane, carbon dioxide, and suflur hexafluoride are examples of GHG. With the exception of water vapor, all of these compounds were identified by EPA as GHG and subject to regulation. As part of the Fiscal Year 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2764; Public Law 110-161), EPA developed a regulation requiring an annual report of GHG . The GHGMRR requires an annual report of GHG emissions from qualifying sources.

EPA Website

eCFR - CFR with final rules added since last printing, GPO

Proposed Regulations

EPA proposes regulations throughout the year; however, a list of proposed EPA regulations is compiled and printed by the General Services Administration (GSA) semi-annually. DOE prepares a summary of proposed and modified air pollution rulemaking activities on the EPA semi-annual regulatory agenda to determine which rulemaking activities concern DOE facilities. This allows DOE HS-22 to focus its resources on rules with the most significant impacts to DOE sites.

Most recent DOE summary of EPA Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda

Most recent agenda from GSA:

DOE submits comments to EPA regarding the impact of proposed air pollution regulations on DOE sites. These comments are not submitted as part of the official docket for a proposed regulation; rather they are submitted directly to the EPA.


Orders are directives outside of laws and regulations that establish requirements for environmental impact and energy use.

Executive Order

Select orders issued by the President, focusing on environmental and energy.

Executive Order 13148: Greening the Government Through Leadership in Environmental Management

Executive Order 13423: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management

Executive Order 13514: Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance.
E.O. 13514 introduces new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management requirements, expands water reduction requirements for federal agencies, and addresses waste diversion, local planning, sustainable buildings, environmental management, and electronics stewardship.

DOE Orders

DOE Order 450.1A, Environmental Protection Program

Compliance Assistance

DOE Policy & Guidance Documents

Information Notices, Information Briefs, Safety Bulletins, and Guides published by the DOE

Compliance Tools

  • GHG Accounting Protocols


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