Gaming the System

Air pollution limits are designed to keep the air safe to breathe. Unfortunately, loopholes in the law render some of these limits virtually meaningless. Upset loopholes, in particular, allow industrial sources to pollute significantly more than the law allows.

Industry data show that upsets are causing air pollution in amounts above legal limits, in some cases, far exceeding annual reported emissions. While all pollution in excess of permit or rule limits is illegal, approximately half of the states have created loopholes that allow pollution resulting from upsets to exceed those limits.