The Clean Air Act Research Paper


The (CAA)is a legislation that pertain elimination or minimizing air pollution in the United States. The atmosphere determines almost every aspect of human beings and other organisms. Pollution with substances such as carbon monoxide, CFCs and Nitrogen Oxides has had detrimental effects on the air that maintains the life of people and therefore should be a matter of concern for not only to the government but also the individual efforts.

It is through the Clean Air Act that the issue of air pollution has been politically addressed at a national and international level. The enforcement has positive outcomes especially concerning matters of peoples health. Several models are employed to determine the effect of the increased quality of air to the environment and the population at large. The federal law states the responsibilities thatEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA)bears in relation to enhancing the lives of the public through improving the environment.

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The Act maintains regulatory requirements which have to be kept vigilant for its compliance. It accomplishes this through consultants and legal, personnel who are aware of the provisions and the enforcement regulations. This paper is aimed at discussing the Clean Air Act, its essence, historical background, implementation strategies, its regulations and the future prospects (Belden, 2001).

The Statutes of the CAA

The CAA which is coded as42 U.S.C. 7401 et seqand aims at safeguarding the public health and environmental protection by controlling pollutants of the atmospheric air. Through the EPA, the CAA states the standards and enforces compliance through the states. The regions that are not up to the standards or the nonattainment areashave to establish control strategies that are stipulated by the CAA.

It is the role of CAA to determine the origin of toxic pollutants as well as the ones responsible for the acid rain. By providing a permit for the origin of air pollutants it helps curb air pollution thus ensuring the atmosphere is protected and also in maintaining the state of clean air for areas with no pollution.

The federal law attains the objective through data collection, comprehensive research, as well as collaborating with the local authorities. The 1970 amendment of the CAA emphasized the role of EPA in maintaining air purity through scientific as well as technological applications. It stated the decrement of automobile pollutants by 90% up to nineteen seventy five.

In addition an EPA program was created that ensured technological control of origin of the emerging main hazardous substances. Also a regulation program was created to deal with air pollutants and its implementation through theFederal Enforcement Authority.

EPA was funded greatly by the federal government and that maintained its continuity In nineteen seventy seven, the amendment of the CAA reset the standards, prolonged deadlines to comply with the standards and established a program named thePrevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD). The CAA amendment of nineteen ninety set various programs to ensure clean air viaFY1998and established detailed provisions (Lipton, 2006).

CAA Historical Perspective

Initially, CAA was enacted in July nineteen fifty five led byPresident Eisenhowerbut since then it has undergone several changes. Its provisions aimed at funding theUnited States surgeon Generalaiding in research for the regulations to be implemented. When several individuals died in nineteen sixties in London & New York due to Killer Smog it triggered national and international debates on air contamination.

As a result, another CAA was passed in nineteen sixty three with key emphasis on grants as well as research to enhance air quality through theDepartment of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). This was followed by approvingAir Quality Act of 1967byPresident Johnson. This Act established origin of air pollutants regulation whose main objective entailed safeguarding the state resources and improving citizens welfare and their health. Moreover, it aimed at creating research at the state and regional level.

This was to be done through HEW which would engage in eliminating and controlling air contamination. Although it formed the basis of for the continuity of the CAA, the demerit of the Air Quality Act included inadequate compliance with the provisions (Lipton, 2006).

Later the CAA was passed by the congress in nineteen seventy with the main objective of enhancing public safety. It empowered EPA to createNational Ambient air Quality standards (NAAQS)to set the appropriate levels of quality air worth for human consumption.

It also allowed the basis by which the states would put into practice theState Implementation Plans (SIPs)for NAAQS to operate smoothly. EPA disapproval of SIP meant its mandate to enforce a plan with the right standards. The statute initiated regulation of poisonous pollutants and a standard aimed at regulating the emissions from automobiles.

In addition, the legislation was also amended in nineteen seventy seven where nonattainment areas were on the rise with slow progress to achieving the aim and noncompliance with the regulations. Therefore, the amendments aimed at attaining the objectives set in nineteen seventy. This resulted to deadlines extension together with new control laws for areas not complying with NAAQS. It established a program calledPrevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD)meant to in attainment areas.

The final amendment occurred in nineteen ninety headed byPresident Bushand has seen the enforcement of laws by the congress concerning the pollution of air. It incorporated other programs such asStratospheric Ozone programwhile reinforcing the previous amendments. It categorized the nonattainment areas, reinforce mobile emission regulations, stated the need for alternative fuel for region with high air contamination, set standards based on the technology and a way to deal with emergency hazardous emissions.

Moreover, it created a control program addressing the issue of acid rain, came up with permit program managed by the state to deal with main origins of pollutants, applied theMontreal Protocolmeant at eliminating substances that deplete the ozone and to update implementation requirements (Lipton, 2006).

The EPA is awarded with the task of ensuring that the standard of air is safe for human, stating the deadlines to achieve the standards and regulating air pollutants from electric appliances, power plants automobiles and industries through cleanup strategies such as application of the Montreal Protocol.

It controls the origin of major one hundred and eight hazardous substances like benzene. The accomplishments of the federal laws stipulated in the act are tremendous with human safety safeguarded. For instance, lead is hazardous to the public and its source had to be put to check which in turn has seen a great decrease in its emission (Belden, 2001).

Implementation Strategies

The EPA is awarded with the task of creating NAAQS but it is entirely the role of the states to enforce ways to comply with the standards. State Implementation Plans stated in CAA section 110 are used by the states and are taken to EPA for approval. SIPs rely heavily on computer models as well as emission inventories to evaluate instances of air contamination.

In case of a standards extension more controls are placed on the sources to curb standardexceedances. EPA awards permits for the upcoming sources and those already determined where the parties have to clearly determine whether the emissions will go beyond what is set. The nonattainment regions have to be monitored to reduce emissions from the sources that are already in place.

The CAA nineteen ninety amendments assign EPA with the power of awarding sanctions in those regions that do not forward the SIP, or one that is inadequate or failure in SIP implementation. According to Lipton, Unless the state b corrects such failures, a 2-to-1 emissions offset for the construction of new polluting sources is imposed 18 months after notification to the state, and a ban on most federal highway grants is imposed six months later.

An additional ban on air quality grants is discretionary. Ultimately, a federal Implementation Plan may be imposed if the state fails to submit or implement an adequate SIP (2006). In regions that are nonattainment, there are absolutely no funding and federal permits awarded because of inconformity with SIP. The restriction of financial aid on projects may be temporary but conformity with SIPs must occur in these areas once in two years

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