A Clean Air Act
describes one of a number of pieces of legislation relating to the reduction of smog
and air pollution
in general. The use of governments to enforce clean air standards has contributed to an improvement in human health and longer life spans. Critics argue it has also sapped corporate profits and contributed to outsourcing
, while defenders counter that improved environmental air quality
has generated more jobs than it has eliminated.
Additionally, air quality legislation has led to widespread use of atmospheric dispersion models, including point source models, roadway air dispersion models and aircraft air pollution models in order to analyze air quality impacts of proposed major actions.
Clean Air Acts
Former Canadian Environment Minister Rona Ambrose
introduced in mid-October 2006
, a Clean Air Act with mostly measures to fight smog pollution
emissions.. On October 19, 2006, Ambrose revealed details of the plan which would include reducing the greenhouse emissions levels of 2003 by about 45 to 65% for the year 2050
. There are plans for regulations on vehicle fuel consumption for 2011 as well as targets for ozone
and smog levels for 2025. The effectiveness of this act has been challenged by the opposition parties, with Jack Layton
of the New Democratic Party
stating that the act does little to prevent climate change and that more must be done. After threatening to make this into an election issue the Conservative Party agreed to rework the act with the opposition parties.
In response to the Great Smog of 1952
, the British Parliament
introduced the Clean Air Act 1956
. This act legislated for zones where smokeless fuels
had to be burnt and relocated power stations to rural areas. The
Clean Air Act 1968
introduced the use of tall chimneys to disperse air pollution
for industries burning coal, liquid or gaseous fuels.
In the United States
, the Congress
passed the Clean Air Act in 1963, the Air Quality Act
in 1967, the Clean Air Act Extension of 1970
, and Clean Air Act Amendments in 1977 and 1990. Numerous state and local governments have enacted similar legislation, either implementing federal programs or filling in locally important gaps in federal programs.
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 proposed emissions trading, added provisions for addressing acid rain, ozone depletion and toxic air pollution, and established a national permits program. The amendments once approved also established new auto gasoline reformulation requirements, set Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) standards to control evaporative emissions from gasoline and mandated that the new gasoline formulations be sold from May-September in many states.
In May 2007, President Bush issued an executive order to cut greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, spurred by a Supreme Court ruling that the EPA must take action under the Clean Air Act to regulate GHG emissions from motor vehicles. The President proposed the 20-in-10 bill, a goal to reduce gasoline consumption by 20 percent over the next ten years.
Bush sent the Congress a proposal that would meet it in two steps:
- Firstly to set a mandatory fuel standard, requiring 35 billion gallons of renewable and other alternative fuels by 2017. This amounts to nearly five times the target previously set for 2012, and was intended to displace 15 percent of projected annual gasoline use in the United States.
- Secondly, to continue the efforts to increase fuel efficiency by reforming and modernizing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards for cars, and extending the current Light Truck Rule, with the intention of reducing projected annual gasoline use in the United States by up to 8.5 billion gallons by 2017. This would bring a further 5 percent reduction that, in combination with increasing the supply of renewable and other alternative fuels, would bring the total reduction in projected annual gasoline use to 20 percent.