Summary of The Clean Air Act

SUMMARY

Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act is the comprehensive Federal law that regulates air emissions from area, stationary, and mobile sources. This law authorizies the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and the environment.

The goal of the Act was to set and achieve NAAQS in every state by 1975. The setting of maximum pollutant standards was coupled with directing the states to develop state implementation plans (SIP's) applicable to appropriate industrial sources in the state.

The Act was amended in 1977 primarily to set new goals (dates) for achieving attainment of NAAQS since many areas of the country had failed to meet the deadlines. The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act in large part were intended to meet unaddressed or insufficiently addressed problems such as acid rain, ground-level ozone, stratospheric ozone depletion, and air toxics.

Last updated: 10/20/97