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SAMI's recommendations for State action are scheduled for 2001.
Emission inventories, Phase I effects analyses, and socioeconomic analyses are complete and available for other uses. SAMI participants have access to modeling results as soon as they are completed. Atmospheric model results will become available throughout the year 2000. Effects and socioeconomic components will not be completed until early 2001.

SAMI will test alternative emissions management strategies.
SAMI is modeling regulations that implement the Clean Air Act, both in the form they existed when SAMI began and in the form they are expected to take when recent rules are implemented (i.e., regional nitrogen oxides reductions, revised national ambient air quality standards, proposed regional haze rules). SAMI will examine the significant improvements in air quality that will result from these current regulations and will evaluate alternative strategies to meet the SAMI mission "to remedy existing and prevent future adverse effects." Of the numerous possible combinations of emissions reduction approaches, time and funding constrain SAMI to modeling only a few strategies. The SAMI Policy Committee will select emission strategies to be evaluated in the linked emissions, air quality, and effects models. From these carefully selected strategies, state-of-the-art information on the environmental and societal benefits and costs of these strategies will emerge. This information will then be the basis for SAMI recommendations to member states

Emissions strategies

Analyses related to emerging state regulatory issues are important SAMI products.
The SAMI model is ideally suited to address regional haze rules, and it may support or even substitute for state modeling in some cases. SAMI modeling will also provide insight to the transport of fine particles and their contribution to regional haze. Since the SAMI atmospheric episodes were selected for relevance to Class I areas, ozone attainment demonstrations in urban areas are probably not an appropriate use of SAMI modeling. The states are currently developing their responses to the recent EPA requirement for regional reductions in nitrogen oxides emissions to be included in state air quality implementation plans. SAMI modeling will be useful to assess how the regional nitrogen oxides reductions will affect the Class I areas.

Regional cooperation is essential to improve air quality in the Southern Appalachians.

Air quality issues are too large for any one state or federal agency to fully address alone. Pooling regional resources and influence will allow SAMI to succeed in achieving its mission. SAMI has the potential to demonstrate an effective way to sustain the environment while providing for economic growth in the Southern Appalachian Mountains region. It establishes a model process for environmental decision making in the 1990s and beyond.

Because SAMI is a consensus-based, voluntary organization, SAMI’s recommendations are likely to focus on incentives that prompt regional, state, or community-based actions.
State regulatory agencies are active in SAMI and may promulgate regulations in response to SAMI’s assessment results. Because SAMI operates by consensus, proposals for major new regulations are unlikely to be a prominent part of SAMI’s Integrated Assessment report to the states. As a forum that includes all stakeholders, SAMI’s structure is ideal for developing incentive-based emissions reduction actions. SAMI will consider a large number of possible recommendations for state action. Some of these are:

  • changing fuels for vehicles and boilers,
  • early adoption of new, cleaner technologies such as coal gasification and energy efficient vehicles,
  • accelerated development of promising technologies such as fuel cells,
  • cost-effective energy conservation measures,
  • urban growth management for more efficient travel, and
  • incentives, such as tax benefits, to prompt earlier adoption of cleaner technologies and compact growth.

SAMI participants will likely value the costs and benefits of alternative emissions management strategies differently.
"How much protection is enough?" "How much change to current lifestyles are we willing to accept and at what cost?" These value questions underlie the difficult analyses that SAMI is pursuing. The value of the natural resources and biological diversity of the Southern Appalachian Mountains is difficult to express in economic terms. Additionally, the changes to current regional land use, energy, and transportation patterns that may be required to reduce future emissions are also difficult to predict. SAMI's assessment may not provide one right answer, but it will assist in understanding the available choices to manage air quality in the future.

About SAMI | Calendar | Integrated Assessment | Strategies | Actions | Outreach | Links| Home


S O U T H E R N   A P P A L A C H I A N   M O U N T A I N S   I N I T I A T I V E
The Interchange Building, 59 Woodfin Place
Asheville, North Carolina 28801
828 251 6889

[email protected]

Friday, October 06, 2000

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