Environment law can be defined as a cluster of laws that contain elements that have power over human activities on the earth and public health. It has diverse obligations and prospects that can be put into practice in addressing collective impacts and susceptible populations.
For instance, Clean Air Act protects city residents from air pollutions. This paper will provide detailed information on how Clean Air Act came into formation and its impact on eradication of pollution (Wood, 2000).
Provisions of CAA
Clean Air Act (CAA) is a law that was drafted by the federal government of America with the intention of protecting the Americans from breathing in contaminated air.
Currently, it plays a significant role in regulating air emissions from both stationary and mobile devices. In addition, CAA also authorises EPA to form NAAQS that protects both public health and public welfare from hazardous air pollution (Belden, 2001). Reasons for introduction of CAA
The origin of CAA dates back to early 1950s. It was signed into law by President Eisenhower in July 1955. However, its core provisions were signed by the congress in 1970 (Davidson and Norbeck, 2011).
In 1970, the federal formulated procedures that were to be used by EPA in setting up national standards for preventing air pollution. For instance, it was assigned the duty of reducing emissions from new automobiles by 90%. EPA was also allowed to establish new performance standards. The standards will aid in determining the amount of pollution that was to be emitted by different industries in diverse regions.
In the amendment of 1970, CAA also encouraged states to come up with plans that could aid in reducing air pollution. It was amended in early 1977 and 1990 in order to elongate the deadlines and to denote on new policies for keeping the air clean (United States, 1981).
For instance, the amendment of 1975 required EPA to come up with programs that will not only aid in regulating emission of air toxins, but also strengthen federal enforcement authority.
CAA obliges the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to come up with quality national health standards in order to eradicate pollutants such as smog, carbon (ii) oxide, and nitrogen (ii) oxide.
In addition to enforcing state governments into coming up with cleanup plans for the environment, it also requires EPA to enforce nations into setting up national standards for major sources of pollution such as automobiles and electric power plants.
In addition, it also authorises discharge controls of over 180 hazardous air pollutants, set ups a program that curbs the production of acid rain and recommends for the prevention of deterioration of clean air. CAA also implements programs such as Montreal Protocol to eradicate most of the ozone depleting chemicals.
Economic impacts of CAA
Just as in the past, Clean Air Act plays a significant role in protecting the citizens of America from air pollution. America is one of the nations in the world that records few cases of premature deaths and illness.
With few cases of deaths and illness, it is evident that America allocates little amount of money towards health issues. It is also evident that the productivity of American workers is recommendable. Thus, the Act has played a significant role towards boosting the economy of America.
It is also evident that the Act acts as one of the economic investment for America. For example, it is evident that health benefits of CAA outnumber the amount of money invested in them.
According to the EPA peer review carried in 2011, there is also great probability of Americans benefiting directly from CAA. For instance, the study estimates the benefit of CAA to exceed in 2020 by a factor of 3-to-1.
CAA has enabled America for more than 40 years to manage its economy and create employment opportunities for its citizens. For instance, the reduction of air pollution by about 70% in 2011 enabled America to advance domestically.
Additionally, America also faced an increase in employment opportunities almost the same period by 88%. Occasionally, pollution prevention involves construction of companies and purchase of equipment which not only last for long, but also create employment opportunities.
According to data collected from U.S manufacturers in 2005, the amount spent in curbing pollution was less than one percent of the amount spent in shipping goods (United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Environment and Public Works. Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, and Nuclear Safety, 2004).
CAA has also created market opportunities in diverse states. It has played a great role in the field of technology by inspiring people into becoming innovative. For instance, it has led to the emergence of new technologies that contribute to America being a global market.
Impacts of CAA to the environment
Despite of the low attention paid towards Clean Air Act, it is evident that it has played a significant role towards the lives of the Americans. For instance, it has managed to eradicate cases of pollution by elements such as lead, sulphur (ii) oxide, carbon (ii) oxide, nitrogen (ii) oxide, particle pollution, and ground level ozone.
Currently, EPA has also managed to reduce cases of premature mortality by 160,000, heart attacks by 130,000, lost work days by 13 million and asthma by 1.7 million. The 2020 vision of EPA is also outstanding; it plans to reduce the number of early deaths in America from 160,000 t0 230,000. (Lipton, 2006).
Belden, R. (2001). Clean Air Act. New York: American Bar Association.
Davidson, J & Norbeck, J. (2011). An Interactive History of the Clean Air Act: Scientific and Policy Perspectives. New York: Elsevier.
Lipton, J. (2006). Clean Air Act: Interpretation and Analysis. New York: Nova Publishers.
United States. (1981). The Clean Air Act as Amended August 1977 and July 1980. New York: U.S Government Printing Office, 1981.
United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Environment and Public Works. Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, and Nuclear Safety (2004). Clean Air Act: alternative fuels and fuel additives : hearing before the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, anthe Nuclear Safetyty of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, United States Senate, One Hundred Eighth Congress, first session, on provisions of the Clean Air Act…, Volume 4. New York: U.S.G.P.O.
Wood, D. (2000). Air Pollution: Status of Implementation of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. New York: DIANE Publisher.