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Air Pollution Basics (BASC)

The Air Pollution Basics curriculum is intended for newly hired federal, state, local, and tribal air professionals, as well as individuals who want to learn more about how air pollution affects our world. Learners should be familiar with the content covered in this curriculum before taking courses under the curricula that relate to specific air agency job functions.

In the left column, you will find entire e-learning courses. The right column provides the content of those same courses arranged by learning objective, for learners who would like to customize their learning plan or who are looking for more targeted training content. (It should be noted that training material is not yet available for all learning objectives.)
eLearning Courses

This course provides a broad overview of air quality management. The course is being replaced by the new eLearning course titled “BASC198-SI: Air Quality Management Under the Clean Air Act.” BASC101-SI will be retired in December/January.

This is a foundational-level course intended for new hires within state, local, and tribal air agencies. After completion of this course, learners will be able to generally describe the impact of air quality legislation in the United States.

This is a foundational-level course intended for new hires within state, local, and tribal air agencies. After completion of this course, learners will be able to describe the types of air pollutants that are harmful to human health and/or the environment.

This is a foundational-level course intended for new hires within state, local, and tribal air agencies. After completion of this course, learners will be able to explain general approaches, as well as technology-specific controls, for reducing emissions of particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

This course provides an overview of air pollution control technologies.

After completion of this course, learners will be able to explain basic concepts in environmental science.

After completion of this course, learners will be able to explain the purpose of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) within the air quality management process.

After completion of this course, learners will be able to explain key concepts associated with implementation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

After completion of this course, learners will be able to explain the various interrelated aspects of air pollution control, understand the basic terminology, and have a rudimentary understanding of some of the technical aspects of regulating, measuring, and controlling air pollution.

After completion of this air quality overview course, learners will be able to explain and define each of the components of the air quality management cycle in the United States under the Clean Air Act and the basic scientific concepts that support them.
eLearning Modules
(Listed by Learning Objective)

1. Generally describe the principle components of the air quality management cycle
Air Quality Management Cycle

The Megacities Partnership: A Framework for Air Quality Management

2. Identify key historic episodes and events that led to the passage of air pollution control legislation
The History of Air Pollution Control Legislation

3. Highlight air pollution control successes since the 1970 passage of the CAA
Clean Air Act Progress

4. Generally describe the types of air pollutants
What are Criteria Pollutants

What are Air Toxics

What are Greenhouse Gases

Overview of Air Pollution

5. Generally describe the sources of air pollutants
Sources of Air Pollution

Control of Stationary Source Particulate Matter Emissions

Control of Stationary Source Gaseous Emissions

Control of Mobile Sources

6. Explain the health and environmental effects of air pollutants
A History of Air Pollution and the Study of its Effects

Health Effects of Air Pollutants

Health and Environmental Effects of Criteria Pollutants

Human Health and Environmental Effects of Air Pollution

Biological Effects of Air Toxics

Biological Effects of Air Pollution

Environmental Toxicology

Measuring and Estimating Adverse Health Effects

From Problem Identification to Regulation

Recognizing Hazardous Situations and Symptoms of Toxicity

7. Explain basic concepts in environmental sciences related to air pollution
Transport and Fate of Air Pollutants

Meteorology and the Atmosphere

Heat Balance of the Atmosphere

The Dynamic Structure of the Atmosphere

Vertical Motion and Atmospheric Stability

Meteorological Instruments

Use of Meteorology in Air Quality Programs

8. Describe common engineering practices and technologies used to control or minimize air pollution
Controlling Air Pollution

Air Pollutants and Control Techniques

Introduction to Emission Control for Industrial Sources

Emission Control Technologies

Cyclones

Fabric Filtration

Principles of Electrostatic Precipitators

Wet Collectors

Adsorbers

Combustion Equipment

Principles of Condensation

Fossil Fuel-Fired Steam Generators

Steel Mills

Petroleum Refineries

Portland Cement Plants

Acid Plants

Municipal Incinerators

Kraft Pulp Mills

Nonferrous Smelters

Asphalt Concrete Plants

9. Outline relevant information in the CAA
Structure and Key Provisions of the Clean Air Act

10. Explain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
Introduction to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards

11. Explain implementation of the NAAQS
What are Area Designations

What is a State or Tribal Implementation Plan

Timeline and Roles for SIP-TIP Submittal and Review

12. Define air pollution transport and Regional Haze
Not Yet Available

13. Explain the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) program for stationary sources
Not Yet Available

14. Define operating permit and New Source Review programs
Introduction to Permitting

New Source Review Program

15. Describe the roles/responsibilities of air agencies under the CAA
Not Yet Available

16. Explain the requirements for Federal coordination on air quality issues
Not Yet Available

17. Describe how the EPA estimates the economic value of health benefits from reducing pollution
Not Yet Available

18. Describe the basic principles for ambient air monitoring
What is Ambient Air Monitoring?

Introduction to Ambient Air Monitoring for Criteria Pollutants

19. Describe the basic principles for source testing and source monitoring
Not Yet Available

20. Define the Air Quality Index (AQI) and its regulatory basis
Not Yet Available

21. Describe the basic principles for emissions inventories
What is an Emissions Inventory

Purposes and Types of Emissions Inventories

National Emissions Inventory

Emissions Inventories

Emissions Inventories Background Information

22. Describe the basic principles for air quality modelling and its applications
Plume Dispersion and Air Quality Modeling

23. Describe the health assessment components of the air toxics program
Not Yet Available

24. Define the air toxics control program
Not Yet Available

25. Explain the process of compliance and enforcement
Compliance and Enforcement

26. Define quality assurance and quality control
Not Yet Available

27. Describe tools and resources available for public health messaging
Not Yet Available

28. List ways the public can participate in the regulatory process
Not Yet Available

29. Identify basic issues related to environmental justice
Not Yet Available