Environmental legislation


Introduction of the law

The Clean Air Act of 1963 is one of the fundamental and popular laws of the United States enacted for the purpose of safeguarding the environment and making it healthy for human living. Jacobson (2002) states that the law which was enacted by the 88th Congress of the United States became effective on December 17, 1963. It further explains that the Clean Air Act is one of the federal laws of the United States which was passed with the spirit and letter ostensible to improve, strengthen, and accelerate programs for the prevention and the abatement of air pollution. This simply donates to the basis that the Clean Air Act of 1963 was passed primarily to direct and manage activities against the pollution of the air. Studies show that this particular law reflects a dominant or an influential environmental law and as such make the list of the leading air quality laws around the globe. This shows the significance of the Clean Air Act to protecting the environment through preventing air pollution.

Economic impact of the law

The Clean Air Act has impacted positively on the status of the economy of the United States and the relevance of it is manifest following its passed all the to the present state. According to McCarthy (2012) the Clean Air Act is pivotal to preventing effluence of the air and this is practically responsible for the improving the health of the average American and affording them with sound strength and wellbeing for their daily activities. Source year also states that Americans experience longer and better quality of life, lower rates of related medical conditions fewer absences in schools and work places which submit to an apparent economic investment for the United States. But these are realistic indications that contribute to productivity. This is because the workforce lives a healthy life due to the impact of the law and hence has the vigor and vitality to work effectively and efficiently for economic advantage.

Impact of the law on the environment

Peer-reviewed studies have shown that the Clean Air Act is has impacted positively on the status of the environment and the evidence speak in favor of advancing a solid progress in the reduction of air pollution. The peer-reviewed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study in 2011 showed a strong exhibit of massive reduction in fine particle pollution and ozone contamination. McCarthy (2012) points out that advancement in the status of air pollution have been achieved post the passage of the law over several decades and it is especially within the time frame where energy consumption and vehicular use in the United States increased by over 50%. This actually suggests that the Clean Air Act has played a fundamental role in protecting the environment. The EPA study in 2011 again indicates that the regulations under the Clean Air Act particularly demands the factories and industries resort to efficient measures that have the tendency to decrease contamination and toxic waste from power plants and cars in the interest of safeguarding quality air. But the result of this component of the law has been overly successful in the past few years as the checks on the operations of industries have contributed immensely to reducing air pollution.

Threat of global warming

Scientific studies have proven that global warming emissions pose a serious threat and it is injurious to public health. Jacobson (2012) states that the Supreme Court of the United States in 2007 ruled that emissions of global warming are air pollutants and must be subject to EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act. This is substantial evidence that underscore that global warming is a major threat to the health and wellbeing of humans. The EPA report in respect of its scientific findings released in 2009 founded that the emissions of global warming produce heat waves that threaten the health of the sick and the elderly, amplify ozone pollution that brings about several respiratory illnesses including asthma in addition to influencing adverse weather conditions (McCarthy, 2012). This shows that global warming is injurious and harmful to the wellbeing of humans.


It is therefore recommended that the United States review its laws periodically or regularly and make the necessary amendments for the purpose of improving measures to curb global warming emissions and greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the terrible impact on the health of humans. The laws must be able to regulate the operations of industries and lead them to formulate and implement advanced measures that are critical to drastically reducing pollution of the environment. Firmness of the law in this sense will improve the wellbeing of people and generally augment sound public health.


This paper explores the substance of the Clean Air Act of the United States of America and its main functions toward the prevention of pollution and all forms of contamination of the air. This is pivotal to safeguarding the healthy living of the average American. The act was passed into law in the year 1963 and has been relevant in facilitating sound economic circumstances in the United States for over four decades. Studies have shown that the Clean Air Act is responsible for aiding United States citizens with the strength to go about their normal lives and execute the various schedules. This influence positivity for the economy as a healthy workforce contributes to sound economic growth. The Clean Air Act has also been influential in protecting the environment thus fulfilling its core responsibility of improving, strengthening, and accelerating programs for the benefit of preventing air pollution. It has actually regulated the operations of industries and factories to approve methods that reduce toxic substances capable of polluting the air. Therefore industrial operations and all other measures that contribute to contamination of the air have been under control since the enactment of the law. However global warming emissions have been proven to cause adverse conditions on the health status of people. There has therefore been an effort to formulate and implement policies that checks the state of effects of global warming including firm regulations by the EPA under the Clean Air Act. It is therefore recommended that the law is constantly reviewed and needed amendments made to cater for current challenges citizens may face of toxic emissions.

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  1. Jacobson M. Z. (2002). Atmospheric Pollution: History, Science and Regulation. London: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Jacobson M. Z. (2012). Air Pollution and Global Warming History, Science and Solution. London: Cambridge University Press.
  3. McCarthy J. (2012). Clean Air Act: A summary of the Act and its Major Requirements. CRS Report for Congress.
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