NATA is a National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment to characterize potential public health risks from exposure to air toxic emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mandated under the Clean Air Act to control air pollutants, designed and implemented a national study to prioritize efforts to address the sources of air toxic pollution. These sources include source categories such as mobile sources, power plants, factories and any other source category included in the National Emissions Inventory.
The Commonwealth of Virginia, in cooperation with EPA, participates in projects to determine and prevent public health impacts of air toxic emissions. NATA provides an additional tool to address potential areas of health impacts to citizens. VADEQ is currently analyzing the 2008 NATA.
NATA is conducted every three years. EPA released the 1996 study in 2002, the 2002 study in 2009 and 2005 study in 2011. Since the 2005 data was collected, reductions have been made in air toxics emissions as a result of the implementation of recent regulations. The 2005 study may not capture all of the recent reductions in air toxics. The 2005 study included the following steps:
- An inventory of all 2005 emissions.
- An estimate of the annual average air toxic concentrations modeled from those emissions.
- An estimate of what people breathe.
- An estimate of the potential public health risks.
The following links will provide information on EPA's 2005 NATA study: