We’ve all heard of the Clean Air Act, which Congress originally passed in 1963 to control and reduce air pollution. Since the original Clean Air Act, a second Act was passed in 1970, and the requirements of the Clean Air Act were further altered in 1990. Let’s take a look at the environmental compliance of the Clean Air Act today.
Air Quality Standards
The Clean Air Act split the United States into air quality control regions so that each region’s air quality could be assessed independently. Regions are encouraged to improve their air quality so that it is in accordance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, making the area safer for public health.
Emission standards of motor vehicles, aircraft, and clean fuel vehicles are all carefully regulated by the Clean Air Act. The Act identifies harmful chemicals that may be released by emissions, and provides cleaner, healthier alternatives through industrial cleaning efforts – including remediation. Extensive study has gone into determining the emission standards included in the Clean Air Act.
Noise Pollution Requirements
Noise pollution can be a serious issue in urban areas, affecting wildlife, humans, and overall well being. The Clean Air Act sought to reduce noise pollution, and created a special office – the Environmental Protection Agency Office of Noise Abatement and Control – to take on this specific issue.
Acid Rain Prevention
The emissions from power plants and industrial factories can cause acid rain, which brings dangerous chemicals back down to the earth. The Clean Air Act identified these harmful emissions and proposed ways that power plants and factories could reduce their emissions. Factories and power plants were given deadlines by which they had to reduce their acid rain-causing emissions or be shut down. Without these standards in place, waterways could be polluted beyond reasonable use – ruining streams and lakes that parents take children to break in a new kids fishing pole, for example. Furthermore, irrigation systems could fail as water supplies become polluted.
Ozone Layer Protection Requirements of the Clean Air Act
The ozone layer is slowly being destroyed by chemicals released here on earth, leaving both humans and animals prone to the ultraviolet B sunlight that the ozone would otherwise protect us from. The Clean Air Act identified which specific chemicals are harmful to the ozone layer, and is slowly phasing those chemicals out from being produced or used.
The Clean Air Act established strict permit requirements for businesses. Large businesses must regularly monitor and report any pollutants that they release, and these reports are carefully reviewed by each state. Some businesses may enlist the services of attorneys to ensure compliance.
The requirements of the Clean Air Act are all designed to ensure public health safety and to keep the earth healthy for years to come. Through research, recommendations, and regulations, the Clean Air Act seeks to create a healthier environment for everyone to live in.