What Is the Government Doing About Air Pollution?

As of 2014, the U.S. government has an organization called the Environmental Protection Agency that regulates greenhouse gas emissions on automobiles, partners with private businesses to reduce industry emissions and reduces the agency’s emissions. The government also partners with other countries and makes commitments to reduce air pollution worldwide.

The Environmental Protection Agency is working on new regulations specifically for heavy-duty engines and vehicles to reduce the emissions and increase the efficiency of these vehicles as of 2014. Industrial emissions are governed by the Clean Air Acts, which reduced carbon monoxide pollution by half between 1970 and 2006. During this time, nitrogen oxide emissions dropped by almost a third, sulfur dioxide emissions were cut in half, particulate emissions fell by 80 percent and lead emissions dropped by 98 percent. In response, the Environmental Protection Agency tightened restrictions further to reduce air pollution even more.

For an example of international work on the air pollution problem, the United States government and China passed resolutions to reduce industrial air pollution. China set limits on the use of coal and took vehicles with high emissions off the road. China also offered financial incentives to cities that reduced pollution. As a result, Beijing shut down hundreds of high-polluting factories and plans to do clean audits of hundreds more as of 2014. The international cooperation from high-polluting countries is what environmentalists say is necessary for cleaner air worldwide.