An Overview of the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act was first enacted in 1970, and was at that time, the most complex and comprehensive environmental statute. The Clean Air Act has been amended twice more since then, once in 1977 and again in 1990. There are literally thousands of pages of regulations that encompass numerous sources of air pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency has predicted that by the year 2020 the Clean Air Act will have prevented more than 230,000 deaths related to environmental pollutants. The Clean Air Act was brought about hoping to save the many resources of this country and to give those who live here a healthier environment. The Clean Air Act is divided into six different titles to make it more efficient to the users, the titles are;

Title I is the regulatory of the six criteria pollutants. Those pollutants are particulate matter, sulfur oxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, ozone and lead. The EPA sets standards that must be followed by all states concerning those six pollutants. It is called the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Title II is to cover all the mobile sources of air pollution such as automobiles and different types of fuels. The EPA has initiated a number of costly rules that deal with fuels and vehicle emissions.

Title III has provisions that authorize lawsuits to be brought against the agency for the failure to meet the hundred’s of requirements in the statute.

Title IV is solely devoted to the industrial industry and their emissions that may contribute to acid rain.

Title V – This title involves the EPA supervising the states air emissions programs.

Title VI – This title is meant to regulate the use of chemicals that may deplete the ozone layer.

It is believed that during the past 30 years with these federal regulations enacted there have been significant improvements in the air quality. Some states will differ with it being due to federal regulations as the state and local controls that were enacted before the Clean Air Act were making progress before the federal government stepped in. The enacting of the Clean Air Act has caused billions of dollars to be had by organizations, and these are only the direct costs or compliance; actual costs claim to be much higher. In the end the Clean Air Act has helped not only our planet and the air we breathe, but has made it possible to actually see the stars when you look to the sky.