Developing a Framework for Effective Air Quality Management

3.6 Developing an Air Quality Management Plan

3.6.2 The Air Quality Management Planning Process
The goal of an air quality management plan is to create the foundation for a successful reduction of air pollutant emissions. Without due care, the plan can end up being no more than a collection of control ideas by air pollution scientists that will sit on a shelf and have little impact. The air quality management plan should be seen as a process and a ‘living document’ rather than a final document. A plan usually builds in ‘contingency control measures’ and is revised every few years to take into account changes in growth, data, and rulemaking activities. The air quality management plan process should be designed so that the community becomes invested into the plan. This means the citizens that will benefit from the plan should understand its actions as well as those citizens who must bear the cost and dislocation associated with the plan. Because of the comprehensive nature of the air quality management process, virtually everyone in the society will be impacted by the AQMP in someway. Thus, for the plan to have potential for success, the plan needs to be developed within a process that generates as much support and knowledge by the impacted parties as is feasible to obtain. This means that the development of an air quality management plan needs to be a public process—not a private process. Table 3.6.2-1 lists the steps taken in the development of the air quality management plan for the Los Angeles metropolitan area and most other urban areas in the United States.
3.6.2-1 An Example of the Air Quality Management Planning Process

There are examples where the planning process does not follow the open process described in 3.6.2-1. The U.S. EPA develops a number of its plans using an advisory panel, a comment period for written comments, review by certain other government agencies, then plan adoption. There are no public hearings in this planning process.