Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement: Progress Report 2016: Introduction

Table of contents

Introduction

In 1991, the United States and Canada established an Air Quality Agreement (Agreement) to address transboundary air pollution. The Agreement initially focused on reducing levels of acid deposition in each country, and in 2000, the Agreement was amended to also address ground-level ozone. A bilateral Air Quality Committee, established in the Agreement, is required to issue a progress report every two years, highlighting progress on the commitments included in the Agreement and describing the continued efforts by both countries to address transboundary air pollution. This document is the 13th such progress report under the Agreement.

The year 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the Agreement. Working collaboratively under the Agreement, both countries have made remarkable progress in reducing acid rain and controlling ozone in the transboundary region, improving the environment and achieving better air quality for citizens in the United States and Canada. Significant reductions in emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have come about due to regulatory and non-regulatory programs—some of which are specifically designed to meet commitments set in the Agreement—implemented by both countries.

In addition, the Agreement has provided a mechanism, in the form of work plans, for cooperation on the development and implementation of harmonized regulations to reduce vehicle and engine emissions and for addressing emissions from the oil and gas sector.

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