Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Clean Air Act Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

The Clean Air Act - Essay Example The researcher states that since the World War II, the US economy has continued to grow. This growth can be attributed to increased manufacturing. The large number of industries in the US was a source of pollutants that continued to degrade the environment. Thus, the need to regulate the amount off pollutants that industries could discharge into the air arose. Efforts that culminated in the modern Clean Air Act (CAA) can be traced to the 1950s. The Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 was signed into law by President Eisenhower. The initial version of the law authorized the United States Surgeon General to provide assistance to the states on how to implement controls. The â€Å"killer smog† in London and New York in the 1960’s created concern about increased air pollution. The Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) was empowered by the 1963 CAA to act on interstate air pollution. According to Jonathan & Joseph, this act established a national authority that woul d intervene in air pollution which posed a danger to the health of any person. Four years later, President Johnson signed the Air Quality Act of 1967 which was an amendment of the 1963 Act. The 1967 Air Quality Act authorized HEW to set national air quality standards. The Act required states to set ambient air quality standards. These standards were expected to be in line with the criteria set by HEW. Roy notes that the Air Quality Act of 1967 had a shortcoming in that it did not establish enforcement procedures. The Clean Air Act was enacted in 1970. It brought about a shift in the strategy of tackling pollution. The amendments empowered the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These standards are meant to protect the public by setting the levels of air quality that must be maintained. The 1970 Amendments created New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) program. NSPS authorized EPA to set standards that wo uld determine technology requirements for new or modified sources of air pollution. The amendments also brought about the regulation of air pollutants and air toxics. These amendments were controversial and brought about challenges to EPA in the implementation of the NAAQs (Jonathan & Joseph 12-14). Little success in achieving the goals of the 1970 Amendments prompted the 1977 amendments to the Clean Air Act. At the time, only few areas of the country had made progress in meeting the applicable NAAQS. Consequently, the amendments extended the time required for compliance. New pollution control criteria were set for areas that could not attain the standards set by the 1970 Amendments. These amendments aimed at defining the standards that industrial technologies would meet in order to control pollution (Roy, 1970). In 1990, Congress revised the Clean Air Act (The 1990 Amendments). These amendments knocked off some elements of the previous act and added new programs. The act strengthen ed the ability of EPA to enforce standards. It required that the air pollution control obligations of an individual pollution source be entrenched in a single permit that expired after five years. The states were allocated a three year period to develop permit programs. These permit programs had to be compliant with EPA standards. In summary, The 1990 Amendments set standards that would see a decrease in Ozone depletion, air toxics and motor vehicle pollution among other areas (Jolish 306). Industry Response to the Clean Air Act The 1990 Amendments forced corporations to create necessary budgetary allocations that would cater for equipment, research and product development. Companies started integrating environmental

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