The Clean Air Act The Clean Air Act The Clean Air Act is codified as 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq. (1970). The Act was passed in 1970. The Act aimed at protecting human health and the environment from emissions. Such emission particularly, pollute outdoor, ambient and air. The environmental protection agency was thus required to create a minimum national standards for quality of air. Further the Act mandated the Agency to assign the primary obligation to the states ensure standards compliance. The nonattainment areas are to implement particular air pollution control measures. The Act created the federal benchmarks for mobile sources of air pollution. The standards also extended to fuels as well as a source of over 187 hazardous air pollutants. Moreover, the Act provided for a cap-and-trade program for the emissions causing rain. Further, the Act culminated into a comprehensive permit framework for chief sources of air pollution. Furthermore, the Act deals with the prevention of pollution in areas with clean air as well as a safeguard of the stratospheric ozone layer.
The Clean Act has been central to the Health sector. For example, it is estimated that over 22 trillion dollars have been saved in Health-Care Costs. As demanded by the Congress to ascertain the worthiness of the Act, EPA conducted periodic scientific studies assessing the benefits and cost of the Act (U.S. EPA, 1977). The report that was initially produced in October 1977 providing an in-depth retrospective examination of benefits and cost between 1970 and 1990 revealed overwhelming benefits attained by complying with Act over the cost of implementation. The EPA applied dose-response data from the scientific review. The study modelling projected over 184,000 annual reduction in premature deaths, and 674 chronic reduction. Moreover, the study revealed that over 22 million lost days at work, as well as other key outcomes. Thus, the EPA summarized that the total monetized death health benefits attached to the Act during the twenty-year period was between $5.6 and $49.4 trillion. Subsequently, $22.2 trillion was estimated to be the benefits as summarized below.
On the other hand, the Act has also been central to promoting environmental protection leading to clean air to breath. For example, according to the EPA 2010 report, over 160,000 lives were saved due to compliance with the Act. This resulted from a significance reduction of fine particles and ozone pollution from the 1990 Clean Air Act amendment. The report further projected that by 2020 over $2 trillion benefit and saving over 230,000 lives will result from the declining trend in the fine particle and ground-level ozone pollution.
Sound science has proved that global warming is a credible threat. The increase emission of greenhouse gasses leads to the depletion of Ozone layer and further leading to increased solar radiation due to the ultraviolet rays that lead to many skin cancer and other severe disorders. Thus, United States should adopt additional policies and laws to curb greenhouse gas emissions. These laws and policies should aim at finding other solution that restrict or limit the use of the greenhouses. Further, the policies and laws should ensure that these gases are recycled to produce other synergies.
U.S. EPA, The Benefits and Costs of the CAA, 1970 to 1990: Prepared for U.S. Congress by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, October 1997. . Report available at: http://www.epa.gov/air/sect812/retro.html.
U.S. EPA, The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020: Final Report, Office of Air and Radiation, March 2011. See Table 5-6. .