What is MARAMA?

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association, Inc. is a voluntary, non-profit association of ten state and local air pollution control agencies. MARAMA's mission is to strengthen the skills and capabilities of member agencies and to help them work together to prevent and reduce air pollution in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

MARAMA provides cost-effective approaches to regional collaboration by pooling resources to develop and analyze data, share ideas, and train staff to implement common requirements.

Our Mission

MARAMA's mission is to strengthen the skills and capabilities of member agencies and help them work together to prevent and reduce air pollution impacts in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Our Objectives

Training: Improve the technical knowledge and skills of the staff and managers of Mid-Atlantic air pollution control agencies.

Common Projects: Help member agencies to develop and accomplish projects that have common benefit.

Cooperation: Increase communication, understanding, and mutual support among member agencies.

Members

The following State and Local governments are MARAMA members: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Philadelphia and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Members of MARAMA's Board of Directors are listed below.

Leadership

MARAMA is governed by an Executive Board consisting of the ten Air Directors from MARAMA member jurisdictions. The Board hires an Executive Director to manage operations and serve as the non-voting Board Secretary.

The Board is responsible for the financial health and policy direction of the Association. Board members review training plans quarterly and conduct an annual evaluation and strategic planning process to guide operations. The Board approves budgets, allocates funds for special projects, and seeks consensus on policy issues.

The Challenge

The Mid-Atlantic Region faces some of the most difficult and severe air quality problems in the nation. Most of our metropolitan areas experience unhealthy levels of ozone every summer, adding to the stress heat and humidity cause for sensitive populations. High concentrations of fine particles in the air contribute to heart disease, lung problems, and early mortality. The toxic nature of some pollutants require special attention.

These problems cannot be solved through local action alone. Metropolitan areas spread across many states. Rural and suburban areas downwind of cities are subject to some of the highest pollution. Coal burning power plants and other large pollution sources send pollution across state lines hundreds of miles downwind.

Regional collaboration results in a shared understanding of the causes of air pollution and builds a consensus on the best approach for resolving problems. Without regional collaboration, local controls are not enough.

The Response

In addressing air pollution problems and issues in the Mid-Atlantic Region, state and local agencies must strive to preserve and protect public health and the environment, while promoting a healthy regional economy.

As each state or local agency works to protect public health and economic well being, MARAMA's regional partnership improves individual results.

Issues of Concern

Ozone pollution on hot summer days affects downwind rural areas as well as major cities. Ozone both causes breathing problems and reduces crop yield. Fine particles of soot, dust, and other materials reduce the lifetime of city dwellers and degrade visibility. Air-borne nitrogen adversely affects precious estuaries, including the Chesapeake Bay.

Future Needs

State and local agencies are facing a very severe budget crisis, but MARAMA members must meet many deadlines for implementing the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone and Particulate Matter. A new "one atmosphere" approach to coordinate control strategies for ozone, particulate matter, and regional haze will increase demands on technical resources. Integrated information concerning air quality episodes must be presented to the public.

State and local agencies are being asked to do more monitoring of air toxics, and it is expected that new air monitoring methods for coarse particles will be phased in over the next few years.

In addition, developing and implementing emissions controls for air toxics will be increasingly important. Federal requirements for new major sources are changing, requiring state and local responses. States and local agencies must develop better emissions inventories.