What is the Clean Air Act?

July 25, 2016

The Clean Air Act was a bill passed by the United States Congress in 1970 with major revisions in 1977 and 1990. The act outlines regulations for air quality and the ozone layer above American territory and the role of the responsibilities of the United States Protection Agency about maintaining those laws. The revisions in 1977 and 1990 outlined new targets for air pollution and recognized new air pollution threats such as acid rain and damage to the stratospheric ozone layer.

Before the Clean Air Act, there was no real regulation to address the growing problem of air pollution. Cities and industrial centers were shrouded in thick, dense smog that caused repertory issues and other health concerns. While the United States Congress passed bills throughout the 1950s and 1960s, these acts only looked into researching the issue and while also expanding some federal power in such activities.

In 1970, United States President Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act. This marked a change in addressing air pollution by setting comprehensive regulations and standards for air quality.

Other Sources

Union of Concerned Scientists. “The Clean Air Act.” Union of Concerned Scientists. http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/reduce-emissions/the-clean-air-act.html#.V5d6GFUrLIU. Accessed July 26, 2016.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Clean Air Act Requirements and History.” EPA. https://www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview/clean-air-act-requirements-and-history. Accessed July 26, 2016.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Evolution of the Clean Air Act.” EPA. https://www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview/evolution-clean-air-act. Accessed July 28, 2016.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. “The 40th Anniversary of the Clean Air Act.” EPA. https://www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview/40th-anniversary-clean-air-act. Accessed July 28, 2016.