Legal Issues in Integrated, Multi-Pollutant Planning for Energy and Air Quality

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In the face of persistent air quality problems, as well as emerging concerns such as greenhouse gases and state budgetary constraints, states are looking to new ways to maximize air quality while minimizing costs. The non-profit Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) assists states in air quality management, and has recently proposed a new methodology for states to use in order to take a proactive, forward thinking approach to optimize air quality. RAP’s proposed Integrated, Multi-Pollutant Planning for Energy and Air Quality (IMPEAQ) fosters long-range planning, multi-pollutant analysis and cost optimization modeling to enable state air quality districts to achieve efficient gains in air quality.

At RAP’s request, the Center for Climate Change Law has undertaken an analysis of potential legal issues that might arise during the use of IMPEAQ. This white paper assesses the general statutory and regulatory framework applicable to IMPEAQ as a voluntary program for states to adopt for their air quality planning. It first addresses threshold issues: state authority under the Clean Air Act to voluntarily implement integrated planning using IMPEAQ and the permissibility of using a multi-pollutant approach to air quality planning. It then examines two key issues concerning emerging control measures: how states can use energy efficiency and renewable energy (EERE) programs in their State Implementation Plans (SIPs) and to what extent states may allow novel measures to satisfy the Act’s source-specific control technology requirements.


© 2013 Columbia Center for Climate Change Law, Columbia Law School