Point Source Controls
Point source controls reduce the amount of pollutant generated by an industrial process or use equipment to reduce pollutant releases. They apply to gas and particulate phase pollutants, and to conventional (PM, NOx, SO2, CO, and lead), and hazardous pollutants such as lead and benzene. Point source controls reduce air pollution before it reaches nearby communities, which is especially important for Detroit given the intense industrial activity, the old and relatively “dirty” facilities that lack modern emissions controls, and the nearby, large and vulnerable populations, especially in southwest Detroit. As an example, reducing SO2 emissions from the three DTE coal-fired power plants in the Detroit area would reduce asthma-related health outcomes among children and adults due to SO2 exposure by an estimated 28%. Current efforts in Detroit to reduce emissions include: actions outlined in the SO2 SIP; MDEQ programs to enforce and encourage PM emission reductions (e.g., control of fugitive dust); controls on VOC and other pollutants; and ongoing inspection, monitoring and enforcement programs. Strategies to encourage point source controls in Detroit include promotion of clean energy; use of incentives and removal of regulatory and financial barriers for renewable energy; reforming utility approaches and Public Service Commission rules to encourage innovation and clean energy; developing Detroit city commitments to renewables; increasing the frequency and stringency of facility inspections, installing or updating controls at older facilities, further reducing fugitive emissions; and improving flare efficiency. Implementing health impact assessments when setting permit conditions would introduce analyses of effects on human health and associated costs into the decision making process.