Clean Air Act


The world is currently experiencing environmental degradation due to human activities. Actions of people, generally business related and ranging from industrial processing to manufacturing, are the major causes of the pollution. The issue is relevant for both developed and developing countries. One of the developed countries  facing the severe environmental pollution is the United States of America. The affected nations have introduced numerous preventative measures in order to curb environmental pollution. In the United States,  the three echelons of government have been mandated to perform different functions aimed at finding the solutions. The federal, state, and local governments work collaboratively with other environmental government agencies to ensure the conservation of the environment of the United States. Therefore, this paper examines the environmental laws, and the Clean Water Act in particular, as a measure to curb pollution.

The Clean Air Act was adopted in 1970 and later revised in 1990 by the Congress. Generally, it is called to minimize the air pollution in the United States. The act’s enactment will set the principles for controlling the air quality as well as define the level of allowable air contamination. The central government fundamentally upholds the Clean Air Act; however, the state and the neighborhood governments sanction the Clean Air Act not eagerly. The Environmental Protection Agency is accountable for setting the standards and ensuring that all the stakeholders adhere to them.  EPA under the Clean Air Act has classified the wellsprings of air contaminations into stationary and versatile sources.

The versatile emitters of air poisons incorporate cars and other transport, while to the stationary emitters belong industrial facilities, dump destinations, and whatever other actions that emit undesirable substances into the atmosphere. The section 112 addresses different forms of emissions into the air, specifically, greenhouse gasses, radiations, and other hazardous gasses. In the same section, the Environment Protection Agency establishes emission standards, which aims at achieving the greatest reduction in the emission of dangerous pollutants into the atmosphere.

Furthermore, EPA strives to protect the environment by introducing techno-based standards which apply differently to various sources of pollutants. The Act underwent changes in order to amplify its impact on the environment conservation in the United States of America. These changes were different from the prior renditions of the Act which for the most part focused on the organizations and commercial ventures. The form adopted in 1993 had the points concerning the private residences. For example, the EPA standards determined the kind of installed kitchen chimneys and furnaces in homes, etc.

Implementation of the Clean Air Act

To begin with, the Environmental Protection Agency is the leading government organization in the execution of the Clean Air Act at all three levels of administration. The state non-legislative offices authorize the laws under the supervision of EPA. The Environmental Protection Agency implements specific approaches and ecological measures related to the level of allowed wasting of the natural resources, according to the Clean Air Act. The local and state governments, in their turn, apply the provision in their areas of jurisdiction. Besides, CAA determines the types and ages of permitted vehicles on the roads.

In addition, the Customs Clearance agencies may invoke the act when denying the entry of some imported vehicles and machinery that are not consistent with the environmental objectives of CAA. On the other hand, EPA also receives suggestions from these mini-agencies on the possible line of action with regards to local or state environmental issues. For example, when the company receives complaints about a factory located in a given neighborhood, EPA prepares a report based on the information obtained. The officers of the agencies later hold consultative meetings with their counterparts from the local and state authorities where they discuss the possible actions. The Environmental Protection Agency must implement the policies that must ensure that if the public cannot exercise their legal rights, people can sue the agency for negligence.

The Clean Air Act provides the public with the power and right to sue the federal and state environmental agencies.  A vivid case demonstrating the exercising of these rights occurred when environmental groups and the people of Massachusetts sued EPA for negligence in controlling the emission of carbon dioxide. The courts ruled in favor of the plaintiffs claimimg that the EPA had an obligation to monitor the emission of carbon dioxide from EPA’s definition of environmental pollution. The courts further recorded that the plaintiffs were able to prove the negligence and harm which led to the current deplorable state. There have also been situations where the state and neighborhood authorities disregarded the actualization of nature assurance strategies; therefore, in such occasions, the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the ability to impose sanctions on such states. The EPA can also deprive the authorities of the role of environmental protection until proper mechanisms are in place. During the takeover, EPA is required to train and guide the local governments on appropriate policy changes in order to guarantee that all players in the region adhere to the laws determined in the Clean Air Act.

Additionally, there are further amendments to the act that have extended the areas in which the law is applicable. In regards to Ozone pollution, the Clean Air Act now requires that some metropolitan areas that experience beyond standard ground-level ozone pollution use gasoline that has been redesigned to reduce air pollution.  Redesigned gasoline engines reduces emissions of toxic air pollutants such as lead, as well as other pollutants that leads to smog formation.

Moreover, the Clean Air Act has introduced various measures to curb active as well as passive environmental pollution. The measures apply to both stationary and mobile sources of pollutants, for example, cars and industries that operate utilizing heavy oil. The developers of more efficient and less pollutive fuels implemented the Clean Air Act. Following the provisions of the act, different fuel developers embarked on a mission to provide better substitute fuels that are environmentally friendly. Such fuels include propane, biodiesel, and electricity.

One of the most desirable features of the modern sources of energy is that they should be less pollutive and renewable, if possible. The Clean Air Act made it possible to establish the national renewable fuel program which is intended to persuade and advise fuel developing industries specific measures that will lead to more addition of the renewable fuels to the non-renewable fuels. For instance, diesel with renewable additives will have fewer pollution effects than the original diesel fuel. Finally, the Clean Air Act has formulated a set of rules that will reduce the level of contamination in big cities and industrial locations in general. For example, the need for proper servicing of vehicles and regular maintenance of industries’ waste management systems are directed at the reduction of air pollution.


In conclusion, the Clean Air Act has led to tremendous environmental improvements. Particularly, the concentration of pollutants in the American atmosphere has reduced; the Ozone degradation as well as acid rains that had become a norm in the main industrial areas, have also decreased. The benefits now extend to public health where there has been a reduction in the number of reported environment-related, for example, respiratiory diseases. Therefore, further positive changes to the act, for example, the proposed mandatory use of solar powered vehicles will ensure the protection and preservation of the American atmosphere for the future generations.