Talk:Clean Air Act (United States)

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Greenhouse gases[edit]

"Research suggests that the greenhouse gases described above tend to have an insulating effect in the atmosphere..."

The IPCC report uses the words "almost certainly" and "beyond reasonable doubt". There is no place for "suggests". -Pgan002 (talk) 08:06, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Proposed merge[edit]

I propose merging Clean Air Act (1970) and Clean Air Act (1990) into this page. Wikipedia is not a dictionary, and these articles aren't very long or detailed, so I don't think each amending act needs its own article. I would prefer one comprehensive Clean Air Act article with a subsection for each amendment. LegalSkeptic 17:20, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Say what?[edit]

The header needs work. There was no EPA in 1963; it was founded in 1970. It'd probably be a good idea to merge the 1955 Air Pollution Control Act with this, since it had no teeth at all. Twang (talk) 01:56, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

The reference to the EPA is to the present time; it doesn't imply that the EPA had that role from the beginning. I wouldn't merge the other article here, because it was a different act with a different name. That article however is wrong to say it was the first United States Clean Air Act unless it's changed to not be a proper name. Wasted Time R (talk) 16:01, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure where to post this, but when I search "Clean Air Act" on wikipedia, this page doesn't come up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:01, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

Heads up[edit]

As part of a Policy Analysis class here in the US, I have chosen this topic to edit and hope to improve it. My Master's concentration is in Environment and Natural Resource Policy. As a new Wikipedian, I look forward to discussing the changes and hearing your feedback. User:surfertk Surfertk (talk) 06:22, 8 December 2010 (UTC)


Good morning. Please find the edits I have made to the main page, below for your reference. I would appreciate any help or guidence in how to create the references page. I have added the links, but it appears there is another step before the process looks finishes and displays properly. Thank you for your help.

Title I - Air Pollution Prevention and Control Part B - Ozone Protection In light of advancements in understanding of atmospheric chemistry, this section was replaced by Title VI [1] in 1990. These changes reflect a change in scientific understanding about how Ozone is formed and depleted. Specifically, Ozone's absorbtion spectrum covers UVC light and shorter wave UVB, letting through UVA (which is largely harmless to people). Ozone exists in the Stratosphere, not troposphere, exhibiting a lateral distribution because it is destroyed by strong sunlight; there is more at the poles. Ozone is made naturally when O2 comes in contact with photons from solar radiation. Therefore a decrease in the intensity of solar radiation also results in a decrease in the formation of Ozone in the stratosphere. This exchange is known as the Chapman mechanism: O2 + UV photon => O + O (note that atmospheric Oxygen as O is highly unstable) O + O2 +M => O3 (O3 is Ozone) + M

where M represents a third molecule necessary to carry off the excess energy of the collision of O + O2. Depletion of Ozone occurs in the presence of Freon and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Following discovery of the Ozone hole in 1974, the 1987 Montreal Protocol was successful in implementing a plan to replace CFCs. The speed and cooperation of the Montreal Protocol is viewed by some environmentalists as an example of what is possible for the future of environmental issues, if the political will can be garnered.

Title II - Emission Standards for Moving Sources Part A - Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards (CAA § 201-219; USC § 7521-7554) This part of the bill was extremely contentious at the time it was passed. The automobile industry argued that they could not meet the new standards and Senators expressed concern about the impact of this part of the legislation, in particular, on the economy. Specific new emissions standards for moving sources passed years later. Jevin’s paradox has done away with much of the system-gains in automobile efficiency since then. Because cars are more efficient, driving is less costly, so people now drive more on average, and this increased driving has overwhelmed the energy savings gained by the initial improvements in fuel efficiency. This same problem may be observed in the broader commercial sense when things are made more efficiently, driving down costs, so more units are sold, so that incremental improvements are overcome. This is what is so often lauded as improving profits and quality of life, but is environmentally damaging. Meanwhile, the focus is usually on the success of the solution, so drumming up further political support for the issue may be difficult. If individuals, corporations, and nations can externalize their costs, they will.

The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)[2] for criteria pollutants. Since the initial establishment of 6 criteria pollutants[3] of Ozone, Particulate Matter, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Sulfur Dioxide, and Lead. Advancements in testing and monitoring have lead to the discovery of many other significant air pollutants since both the 1970 and 1990 Clean Air Acts.

Robert Fri argues in “How Environmental Forces Shape Energy Futures” that energy and environmental policy making are inextricably linked. This perspective is echoed by many others including Robert Friedmanand Rosa Bierbaum in their article “The Bumpy Road to Reduced Carbon Emissions”. Characteristics of environmental drivers include the need for an empirical understanding of the costs and benefits of pollution reduction and how they accrue to different groups. Where benefits and costs accrue to different players, conflict is increased. Over time, the mix of costs and benefits has shifted. Pollution used to be primarily local, and the same people used to reap the benefits and benefits of whatever system was used. Extensive distribution and higher levels of more centralized production have changed this system to be less democratic. Increased NIMBYism has meant that those who reap the benefits (such as electricity or heating) often are not exposed to the immediate environmental costs (contaminated air or water). The energy/environment relationship has been changed by negative externalities accruing where and when people do not connect them with their own behavior and choices. Trans-boundary pollution changed this and politically changed pollution as a national issue. This was particularly true in Northern Europe in the second half of the 20th century and provided the impetus for some of the first real controls on industrial pollution, including the Clean Air Act.

Some people believe that the traditional model of exponential growth is anachronistic. John Gibbons advocates in “Conservator Society Still a Dream” for an “equilibrium oriented model”, proposing that where in the economy cost factors are incorporated matters less than widespread recognition that it is necessary to include such factors in market pricing. A further alternative policy to the Clean Air Act might include efforts to build consensus in the economic sector on how to incorporate environmental costs and benefits into National Accounts. Although this will be a very data-intensive process, as evidenced by the beginnings of such an undertaking by the Dutch in recent years, it is useful for the policy-making process, and invaluable for making informed decision. The derived conventional wisdom is limited and problematic without such an empirical basis for making assessments about tradeoffs between environment and economy. Surfertk (talk) 10:57, 8 December 2010 (UTC)


Hello. I am new to the editing process and I have adding some information about Title III: General Provisions to the article. I am doing this for a college course and any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Kfroehbr (talk) 16:37, 21 November 2011 (UTC) Advice, not advise...Make your edits. Avram Primack (talk) 02:13, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

I have added information to Title VI: Stratospheric Ozone Protection and Title IV A: Acid Deposition Control. I was able to get the references to list properly for Title VI. However, I did not have the same luck with Title IV. I was wondering if there was a limit to the number of times you can reference one website. Thanks. Kfroehbr (talk) 04:10, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Theory section[edit]

The theory section is not about clean air, or the clean air act. What is its relevance to the larger article?? It appears as a side issue in esoteric economics. Avram Primack (talk) 02:14, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Agree... this section doesn't belong here. Looks like something from a term paper. Moreau1 (talk) 05:27, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
I deleted this section per the above comments. The text may be appropriate for starting another article, but it would need more introduction, context, and references. Moreau1 (talk) 03:49, 6 March 2012 (UTC)


I am also enhancing this article for a class project. I would like to add information to the sections that do not have any content and also add citations where they are lacking. I may add a section that provides details and links to individual state laws that have been passed if available. This is my first time editing a wiki page so helpful criticism would be awesome. Thanks! Justxforxnow (talk) 19:32, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

language does not sound right[edit]

"No nonattainment area can be redesignated as an attainment area, and any area that contains a site for which air quality violates the national ambient air quality standards is designated as nonattainment." -- surely at some point it can be redesignated if it improves? anyway, removing as it add more confusion than the little it tells us about process.

(later) Also removing the following rather impenetrable gobbledegook. I am sure it means something and is probably straight from the legislation, but if it is suppsed to be telling us something I do not know what that would be:

It is also stated that no state or political subdivision can adopt or attempt to enforce any standard respecting emissions of any air pollutant from any aircraft or engine unless it is identical to a standard applicable to an aircraft.

Elinruby (talk) 04:41, 24 December 2012 (UTC)

What Does this Mean?[edit]

It came out of the General Provisions section: EPA developed regulations of a list of categorized sources that emitted any number of the 188 hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), as directed by the 1990 amendments. There are currently 174 categories with plans for the creation of emission standards. Both the new and current sources’ standards are based on “maximum achievable control technology” (MACT), which is defined as control technology being able to reduce the emission of HAPs as much as possible while taking into account the cost and other factors.

Elinruby (talk) 03:32, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

dn tag[edit]

guess I really mean clarification needed not diambiguation but I don't have time to look the syntax up. Surely all those pollutants come from more than one source? But surely the law doesn't list them all? Unclear. Elinruby (talk) 03:56, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

words missing from sentence, or something[edit]

"It was originally enacted by Act of July 14, 1955, c. 360." No idea what c. 360 means in this context, need clarification as to which Act. From Title IV section.Elinruby (talk) 22:53, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

"c. 360" means Chapter 360 of the Act of July 14, 1955; also called the Air Pollution Control Act of 1955. Sometimes Congress gives the same law multiple names. Moreau1 (talk) 03:34, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Add chronology of bills' provisions?[edit]

It's a little hard to follow what happened, when. E.g., I came here to see when the "Clean Air Act" mandated the phase-out of leaded gasoline. I'm still not sure. Thanks! :-) Benefac (talk) 20:37, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^