Clean Air Act (1970)

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The United States Clean Air Act is a United States federal law enacted by the United States Congress to control air pollution on a national level. It requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and enforce regulations to protect the general public from exposure to airborne contaminants that are known to be hazardous to human health. The Clean Air Act was passed in 1963 and significantly amended in 1970 and 1990. It is listed under the 42 U.S.C. § 7401.

The Clean Air Act is significant in that it 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.

The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 proposed emissions trading, added provisions for addressing acid rain, ozone depletion and toxic air pollution, and established a national permits program. The amendments once approved also established new auto gasoline reformulation requirements, set Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) standards to control evaporative emissions from gasoline, and mandated that the new gasoline formulations be sold from May to September in many states.


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