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Clean Air Act

Bill Number: HR-6518

Public Law Number: 88-206

Enacted - Signed by the President

Once the president signs a bill, it becomes a law.

Full title...
An act to improve, strengthen, and accelerate programs for the prevention and abatement of air pollution.

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Bill Text (Reading difficulty: Hard)

What is the Clean Air Act?

The Clean Air Act is a series of laws that were enacted to make the air we breathe cleaner by reducing the amount of pollutants emitted by cars, factories, etc.

It was first enacted in 1963, but has been updated several times as the understanding of air pollution improved.

Why the Clean Air Act was created

On the worst days, air pollution makes your view hazy. But even when you can't see it, It can make you sick. It damages crops and plants that also breathe polluted air. It damages man-made structures such as buildings.

There also are economic effects - including lost days at work and school due to illness related to breathing dirty air. Billions of dollars are lost each year from reduced yields of agricultural crops and commercial forests.

1963 - The original bill

The first of the Clean Air Acts was created to study and air pollution and begin work to clean the air.

1970 - The first real enforcement

In 1970 the Clean Air Act was enhanced, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created to enforce the law.

This bill created a more comprehensive federal response to air pollution. Under the law, the EPA sets limits on certain air pollutants that can be emitted from stationary facilities such as factories and mobile sources such as vehicles.

The EPA also limits on how much certain pollutants may accumulate in our air.

Under normal circumstances, EPA programs are carried out by each state. However, the EPA has the power to take action if a state fails to meet pollution limits.

1990 - Considering costs

This revision gave the EPA more authority to implement and enforce regulations to reduce emissions of pollutants.

It also increased the emphasis on cost-effective approaches to reduce air pollution.

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