PDF _ RL30853 - Clean Air Act: A Summary of the Act and Its Major Requirements
15-Feb-2007; James E. McCarthy, Claudia Copeland, Larry Parker, and Linda-Jo Schierow; 26 p.

Abstract: This report summarizes the Clean Air Act and its major regulatory requirements. It excerpts, with minor modifications, the Clean Air Act chapter of CRS Report RL30798, which summarizes a dozen environmental statutes that form the basis for the programs of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The principal statute addressing air quality concerns, the Clean Air Act was first enacted in 1955, with major revisions in 1970, 1977, and 1990. The Act requires EPA to set health-based standards for ambient air quality, sets deadlines for the achievement of those standards by state and local governments, and requires EPA to set national emission standards for large or ubiquitous sources of air pollution, including motor vehicles, power plants, and other industrial sources. In addition, the Act mandates emission controls for sources of 188 hazardous air pollutants, requires the prevention of significant deterioration of air quality in areas with clean air, requires a program to restore visibility impaired by regional haze in national parks and wilderness areas, and implements the Montreal Protocol to phase out most ozone-depleting chemicals.

This report describes the Act’s major provisions and provides tables listing all major amendments, with the year of enactment and Public Law number, and crossreferencing sections of the Act with the major U.S. Code sections of the codified statute.

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Topics: Air, Legislative, Pollution

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