laws and amendments to combat air pollution (EPA’s Acid Rain Program …
laws and amendments to combat air pollution
An agreement among 150 nations requiring greenhouse gas reductions
Would have required US to reduce greenhouse emissions by 7% of 1990 levels over 5 years.
Under the agreement, US would have faced penalties if it didn’t make the cuts.
US saw this goal as unattainable since CO2 and greenhouse gases continue to increase and are projected to increase for the next 20 years.
US also thought the standards were not the same for developing nations.
Also thought that the cost of meeting the targets was too high, the timeframe was too short, and that there was no correlation between greenhouse gases and global warming
Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
Regulations in the United States, first enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1975, in the wake of the Arab Oil Embargo and were intended to improve the average fuel economy of cars and light trucks (trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles) produced for sale in the United States.
Improve efficiency to avoid oil wastage.
Control Act (1955): first piece of federal legislation regarding air pollution. Identified air pollution as a national problem and announced that research and additional steps to improve the situation needed to be taken.
It made the nation more aware of the problem.
Clean Air Act (1963): Dealt with reducing air pollution by setting emission standards. Didn’t take into account mobile sources, just secondary sources. Also set standards for auto emissions, expanded local air pollution control programs, set air quality standards and compliance deadlines for stationary source emissions. Authorized research in low- emission fuels and cars
% Changes due to Clean Air Act:
Pb 96% reduction
VOC 42% reduction
SO2 37% reduction
CO 31% reduction
NOx 17% increase
PM 226% increase
(Notice the increase in NOx and PM)
EPA’s Acid Rain Program
Designed to achieve significant environmental and public health benefits through reductions in emissions of SO2 and NOx.
Encourages energy efficiency and air pollution prevention.
Strategies of program:
Allowance trading system Opt-in program that allows non-affected industrial and small utility units to participate in allowance trading system. Larger polluters can purchase ‘pollution rights’.
Setting new NOx emissions standards for coal-fired boilers
Permit process that affords maximum flexibility in selecting cost-effective approaches to reducing pollution.
Continuous emission monitoring (CEM) ensure above strategies are complying and ensure reduction goals are met.
Appeal procedures in place to ensure democratic integrity.
National Environmental Policy Act (1969): Requires a systematic analysis of major federal actions. Includes a consideration of all reasonable alternatives and looked at short-term and long- term, irretrievable, irreversible and unavoidable impacts.
Clean Air Act (1970): Established new primary and secondary standards. Set new limits on emissions from stationary and mobile sources enforced by state and federal governments. Increases funds for air pollution research.
Clean Air Act (1990): Amended because time limits were too short for auto industry. Addresses 5 main areas: air quality standards, motor vehicle emissions and alternative fuels, toxic air pollutants, acid rain and ozone depletion.
Montreal Protocol (1989): an agreement among nations requiring the phase-out of chemicals that damage the ozone layer.
Pollution Prevention Act (1990): Requires industries to reduce pollution at its source. Reduction can be in terms of volume and/or toxicity.