Clean Air Act (United States)
The Clean Air Act is a United States federal law designed to control air pollution on a national level. It requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and enforce regulations to protect the public from airborne contaminants known to be hazardous to human health. The 1963 version of the legislation established a research program, expanded in 1967. Major amendments to the law, requiring regulatory controls for air pollution, passed in 1970, 1977 and 1990.
The 1970 amendments greatly expanded the federal mandate, requiring comprehensive federal and state regulations for both stationary (industrial) pollution sources and mobile sources. It also significantly expanded federal enforcement.
The 1990 amendments addressed acid rain, ozone depletion and toxic air pollution, established a national permits program for stationary sources, and increased enforcement authority. The amendments also established new auto gasoline reformulation requirements, set Reid vapor pressure (RVP) standards to control evaporative emissions from gasoline, and mandated new gasoline formulations sold from May to September in many states.
The Clean Air Act was the first major environmental law in the United States to include a provision for citizen suits. Numerous state and local governments have enacted similar legislation, either implementing federal programs or filling in locally important gaps in federal programs.
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