Why is Air Quality important at Naval Station Newport?
Naval Station Newport is considered a major source for air pollutants. This means that Naval Station Newport emits or has the potential to emit 50 tons per year or more of volatile organic compounds or nitrogen oxides or 100 tons per year of any other regulated pollutant. In 1999, Naval Station Newport emitted approximately 118 tons of various air pollutants. Air Pollutants are of particular concern at this base and throughout the State of Rhode Island because this State is considered a "serious" non-attainment area for ozone. The EPA uses six "criteria pollutants" as indicators of air quality throughout the United States. They are:
- Particulate: Ozone (O3)
- Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Lead (Pb)
EPA has established thresholds for these pollutants. If a particular area in a state meets these thresholds, the area is considered to be an "attainment area" for that pollutant. If an area exceeds the thresholds for a particular pollutant, the area is designated a "non-attainment area" for that pollutant. The entire State of Rhode Island is considered a "non-attainment area" for ozone.
What air pollutants are emitted at Naval Station Newport?
The primary air pollutants emitted at Naval Station Newport are nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the combustion of fuel. These pollutants are two of the six criteria pollutants regulated by the 1990 Clean Air Act. Naval Station Newport also emits lower quantities of volatile organic compounds (V0Cs), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM). These pollutants also makeup the six criteria pollutants. These pollutants can contribute to the generation of acid rain and ozone that can be harmful to one's health. In addition, because Rhode Island is a "non-attainment area" for ozone, the pollutants that create ozone at the ground level are of particular concern.
What is an emission source and what are the sources at Naval Station Newport?
An emission source is any place or object that releases pollutants. A source can be a power plant, farm, gas station, boiler, or paint booth. Mobile sources include cars, trucks, and other mobile pieces of equipment. The primary sources of air pollutants at Naval Station Newport are the boilers used to heat the buildings at the base. Other sources include emergency generators, chillers, fuel dispensing pumps, aboveground storage tanks, and a variety of industrial activities. The emissions at the base are regulated by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Office of Air Resources through regulations and various permits that the base has obtained.
What is Naval Station Newport doing to prevent and control air pollution?
Most of the air emission sources at the base fall under a specific permit. These sources require specific monitoring to ensure that the emission levels fall within permit limits. Monitoring reports are submitted to the RIDEM, Office of Air Resources, on a regular basis. The base has also applied for and obtained a Draft Title V Base Air Operating Permit under the Clean Air Act. This permit will regulate all of the air sources at the base under a single permit. This permit will also require specific monitoring procedures. In addition, annual base-wide air emission inventories are conducted to determine actual emissions and identify new sources. Naval Station Newport is also reducing air emissions by converting oil-fired boilers to cleaner fuels such as natural gas, and installing vapor recovery systems on gasoline pumps and other emission sources.