The federal government enacted the Clean Air Act, so as to protect the citizens of the United States. At the same time Congress created the Environmental Protection Agency with its primary role of regulating and the enforcement of environmental policies at the state and tribal levels.
A brief history on air pollution, in October 1928 in the industrial town of Donora Pennsylvania a thick cloud formed. This thick cloud lingered for five days, causing sickness in 6,000 and killing 20 of the town’s people. And in 1952, over 3,000 people died in London to what is known as the “Killer Fog”. These events alerted the federal government to the dangers that can come from air pollution and the public health issues that can arise from pollutants in the air. The original Clean Air Act of 1963 was passed, establishing funding for the study and cleaning of air pollution.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established and began operating on December 2, 1970. The EPA’s primary responsibility is enforcing and regulating the laws, these regulations and laws are for protecting the environment and public health. The EPA is a regulatory agency that Congress has authorizes to write regulation that explains the critical details that are necessary to implement environmental laws. (epa.gov/laws-regulation)
The Clean Air Act – 42 U.S.C. §7401 et seq. (1970), regulated air emissions from stationary and mobile sources. With the approval of this Act the EPA was able to establish the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) which regulates emissions of hazardous air pollutants that can harm public health.
The Energy Policy Act – 42 USC §13201 et seq. (2005) addressing energy production in the United States, such as Energy efficiency; Renewable energy; Oil and gas; Coal; Nuclear matters; Vehicles and motor fuels. This Act provides loan guarantees for entities that develop or use inventive was that avoid producing greenhouse gases. Another provision of the Act increases the amount of biofuel that must be mixed with gasoline sold in the United States. (epa.gov/laws-regulation)
America’s federal environmental laws set national standards, and on the condition that a state can shoulder the crucial task by enforcing these standards, they do by adopting laws that are as severe as the federal laws. Many states have assumed these responsibilities of enforcing the national standards by giving responsibility of specific programs throughout agencies within the state. The federal government is the overseer that enforces all cases and supervises the states’ activities while also monitoring state and the tribal operations of the Environmental Protection Agency programs. The Environmental Protection Agency supports the states and tribes to achieve effective enforcement and environmental compliance, and maintains support approved state programs through grant funds, and involvement.
The Environmental Protection Agencies and state agencies make active efforts to educate the regulated community. A numerous compliance assistance tools have been put in place to help business, industry and state governments to conform to the environmental requirements. Web sites have been developed; hotlines, workshops, compliance training, fact sheets, and additional compliance guidelines are given to the regulated community.
The Clean School Bus Program unites businesses, education, transportation, and public health organizations to encourage actions to stop the unnecessary idling of public schools busses. Modifying old schools busses with better emissions control technologies and proving cleaner fuels.
The EPA is publishing a proposed rule designed to reduce air pollution, in 2017 the Tier 3 design would set new standards for vehicle emissions criteria and lessen the sulfur found in gasoline. This new rule would reduce tailpipe and evaporative emissions. The lower sulfur gasoline will improve fuel economy by reducing gas consumption as well as reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The Environmental Protection Agency seeks to provide a healthy environment. By partnership-building with states and communities the reduction of environmental pollutants becomes a joint venture.
Retrieved from: http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-energy-policy-act Retrieved from: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/documents/tier3/420f13016a.pdf Retrieved from: http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/peg/understand.html