- COVID-19 and Air Quality
About the OTC
The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) is a multi-state organization created under the Clean Air Act. We are responsible for advising EPA on developing and implementing regional solutions to the ground-level ozone problem in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
The OTC brings together the states from Virginia to Maine to coordinate reductions in air pollution that benefit the whole region. We provide air pollution assessment, technical support and a forum through which states can work together to harmonize their pollution reduction strategies.
The OTC has no rulemaking authority. Model rules and programs designed through the OTC process must then be taken by the individual states through their own rule adoption processes conforming to their state's requirements.
The OTC states work together on model rules and programs through three standing Committees: (1) the Stationary and Area Source (SAS) Committee focuses on all non-transportation sources of emissions; (2) the Mobile Source Committee focuses an all emissions from transportation-related sources, including vehicles and other on-road and non-road sources; and (3) the Modeling Committee, which focuses on analyzing current and future emission and ambient air quality scenarios based on various combinations of local, state and federal actions to mitigate emissions.
OTC and the states develop an estimate of the emission reductions needed to attain a specific standard. OTC's SAS and Mobile Source Committees then compile lists of potential VOC and NOx rules using state rules, state concepts, existing state State Implementation Plans (SIPs), EPA resources and a close review of cutting edge states like California. Information is shared periodically with stakeholders through regular meetings of the three Committees. As work proceeds, the Committees develop recommendations for individual state rules and on developing the necessary technical support information that then are reviewed by the state Air Directors. Input from the Air Directors flows back to the OTC Committees.
As the list of potential model rules are pared down the state Commissioners are asked to agree on what rules will be developed as model rules for all the OTC states to consider adopting through the signing of Memorandums of Understanding.
The model rules are then sent to the states for comment and numerous stakeholder processes occur to try to inform impacted parties of the new rules. The OTC states then start their own rulemaking processes using the model rule as a template. States can make changes to the model rule template as needed and appropriate to fit their particular situation.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The OTC's day-to-day operations are managed by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). NESCAUM, as its own regional air organization, represents eight states that are part of the twelve states and the District of Columbia that make up the Commission. NESCAUM brings extensive expertise with a staff of 20 and years of regional- and state-level experience in addressing issues associated with ozone and its precursors.