Mobile, Smoke and Area Sources Branch
The Mobile, Smoke, and Area Sources Branch is responsible for implementing programs that enhance air quality and limit emissions from several diverse sources.
Mobile sources are primarily on-road motorized vehicles including cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles, but also include non-road equipment such as construction and recreational equipment. Emissions from mobile sources are controlled through the following programs:
- The Nevada Motor Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program (Smog Check) is a mandatory emissions testing program for light duty and certain medium duty motor vehicles registered in Clark and Washoe Counties. The Heavy Duty Diesel testing program is a roadside inspection program which ensures that large, diesel-powered trucks are complying with smoke opacity standards. Program support for these two emission testing programs is provided to the NV Department of Motor Vehicles, which has primary responsibility for their implementation.
- The Nevada Alternative Fueled Vehicles in Fleets program requires that large fleets operated by state and local government agencies located in Clark and Washoe Counties utilize cleaner-burning alternative fuels in their fleet vehicles.
- The Nevada State Clean Diesel Program provides grant funding opportunities for diesel emission reduction projects. Since 2008, the program has focused on reducing emissions from public school buses across Nevada by retrofitting them with emission reduction components; installing fuel-saving engine heaters that eliminate unnecessary engine idling during cold weather starts; and by retiring old, high-mileage diesel school buses and in their place purchasing new replacement school buses that meet recent, stricter emission standards.
Smoke generated through prescribed burning operations and fire training is a concern to air quality planners. The purpose of the Nevada Smoke Management Program is to coordinate and facilitate the statewide management of prescribed outdoor burning in the state of Nevada. Under the program, land management agencies and other organizations planning prescribed burns must obtain a permit from the NDEP and conduct their operations in manner that mitigates smoke impacts. This includes igniting burns only under favorable fuel moisture and meteorological conditions; using trained crews; monitoring for potential smoke impacts; and considering alternatives to burning where appropriate.
The 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) Amendments established a new and fairly complex program to regulate emissions of 188 hazardous air pollutants (HAPS) from particular industrial sources and small businesses called area sources. The Area Sources program issues Class IV Air Quality Operating Permits to affected businesses and industries that require the permit holder to follow federal regulations intended to control HAP emissions. A few examples of the businesses and their corresponding HAPs that are regulated under the Area Sources program are: gasoline dispensing and bulk storage facilities for benzene; dry cleaning establishments for perchloroethylene; certain metal processing and fabrication facilities for hazardous metals; and several other area sources.