Free Paper Example on Clean Air Act

Published: 2023-11-24
Free Paper Example on Clean Air Act
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Law Air pollution
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 604 words
6 min read


The CAA is an inclusive federal law that controls air emanation from both mobile and stationary sources. This law has numerous functionalities, including the capability to authorize EPA to institute NAAQS to protect the health and general welfare of the public as well as regulating the emissions of harmful air pollutants (Hopke, 2009). The sources of air pollution, as addressed by the CAA, include emissions of harmful air pollutants.

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National Ambient Air Quality Standards

The NAAQS refers to the permissible layers of noxious pollutants as set by the EPA as per the provisions of the CAA. According to the CAA, there are two major form of standards for ambience air quality (Li et al., 2019). The first standard entails the primary standards that majorly encompass the minimal levels of air quality that is required to manage people from developing illnesses and are aimed at protecting the health of the public. The major intention of the primary standards is to provide an adequate margin of safety for the public, and this margin has been defined to include a representative sample of the sensitive populations such as the elderly, children, and asthmatic people.

The secondary standards are purposed to promote public welfare and prevent damage to animals, plants, and property. NAAQS have been set for six of the major pollutants, commonly known as criteria pollutants (Popp, 2003). The criteria pollutants include CO, particulate matter such as suspended solid or liquid particles, ground-level ozone, and oxides of sulfur. Particulate matter is categorized into two groups depending on the size. The first category entails those with dimensions of 10 micrometers, and the second one contains those with 2.5 micrometers or less. Each of these categories has a different set of primary standards. Consequently, the NAAQS for criteria pollutants mostly revolves around performance rather than the design standards.

Air Quality Index

The AQI is the index used by the EPA for purposes of reporting the air quality. Higher values of AQI designate higher levels of air pollution, and this raises great concern. The AQI value corresponds to a certain ambient air concentration that equals the level of short term NAAQS for the aim of protecting the health of the public (Vahlsing & Smith, 2011). The values of AQI below 100 are considered satisfactory. However, when the AQI value rises above 100, the kind of the air is unhealthy. Initially, it becomes a health hazard for unconcerned susceptible set of people and eventually becomes a concern for everyone as the value of AQI escalates. The AQI is split into six levels, whereby each of these categories corresponds to a certain level of well-being concern.


Before 1990, the CAA developed a risk-based initiative under which only a lean measures were refined. The 1990 amendments on the CAA revised the sources to initially require the enforcement of technology-based measures for the various major and minor sources. These major sources are basically defined as the stationary sources capable of emitting in excess of 8-12 tons per year of more hazardous air pollutants.


Hopke, P. (2009). Environmental Chemometrics. Comprehensive Chemometrics, 55-74.

Li, H., Wang, J., Li, R., & Lu, H. (2019). Novel analysis–forecast system based on multi-objective optimization for air quality index. Journal Of Cleaner Production, 208, 1365-1383.

Popp, D. (2003). Pollution control innovations and the Clean Air Act of 1990. Journal Of Policy Analysis And Management, 22(4), 641-660.

Vahlsing, C., & Smith, K. (2011). Global review of national ambient air quality standards for PM10 and SO2 (24 h). Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health, 5(4), 393-399.

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