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The Clean Air Act - Term Paper Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The Clean Air Act The Clean Air Act of the United States was established to minimize and control air pollution on a nationwide level (Jacobson 1). It mandates the Environmental Protection Agency, also known as EPA, to design and implement regulations protecting the citizens from exposure to hazardous airborne contaminants that pose a risk to human health and the environment…
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The Clean Air Act
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Download file to see previous pages The 1990 amendment also addressed requirements for gasoline reformulation to control its evaporative emissions (Jacobson 2). This paper will discuss the emission regulations contained in the Clean Air Act and how it has helped the environment. The Act contains several emission regulations as listed in the below description. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) These are regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Act to set up primary and secondary NAAQS which define the standards of air quality permitted (Martineau and Novello 12). The primary standards aim at providing public health protection, which include protecting the sensitive population like the elderly, children and asthmatics. On the other hand, secondary standards provide protection to public welfare such as crop, buildings and animal damage, and poor visibility (Jacobson 4). New Source Review (NSR) Permits They govern regulations requiring new stationary sources of emissions of air pollutants to be permitted prior to construction (Turner 36). It incorporates three types of permits, which are Nonattainment NSR, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Minor NSR permits. The Nonattainment NSR permits apply to new sources or modifications of sources that already exist in areas that do not meet the attainment requirements of NAAQS. The PSD permits apply to significant sources or modifications of sources in areas meeting attainment requirement and also areas unclassifiable by the NAAQS. Thirdly, Minor NSR permits apply to sources that do not require a PSD or Nonattainment permit (Martineau and Novello 12). New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) They are regulations issued by the EPA that establish air pollution standards to be met by new stationary sources (Turner 40). They encompass categories related to development of energy like gas and oil producing facilities, petroleum refineries and onshore processing plants for natural gases, coal preparation plants and bulk gasoline terminals. The NSPS regulations have two elements, the Clean Air Interstate Rule that caps nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide emissions in the eastern part of the United States, and the Clean Air Mercury Rule that reduces emissions of mercury from power plants powered by coal (Martineau and Novello 14). National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) These are regulations that govern emissions of hazardous air pollutants that are not covered under the NAAQS, and they are issued by the EPA. They contain standards for categories of sources that emit significant quantities of air pollutants (Martineau and Novello 14). The environment has benefited from the Clean Air Act in various ways. There has been a 25 percent reduction in ground level ozone, a hazardous component of smog, from 1980 to 2011 (Turner 39). Mercury emissions into the environment have also gone down by 45 percent within the past two decades. In the same period, rules enforced by law have facilitated a reduction in emissions of sulfur and nitrogen dioxide, the key pollutants that cause acid rain, by 71 percent and 46 percent respectively (Sperling and Deborah 191). The ozone layer has also seen the phasing out of production and use of chemicals contributing to its depletion. The reduction of acid rain due to a cut of emissions that cause it has led ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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