The Clean Air Act of 1963 celebrates its 50th birthday December 17. To celebrate today, ask the EPA to protect our communities from carbon pollution.
But there is still much to do!
We’ve known for decades that carbon wrecks our health and our climate, and power plants are one of our nation’s top sources. Their pollution fuels climate disruption — it makes wildfires burn hotter and droughts last longer. Warm summer weekends become scorching heatwaves and floods become disasters. Unlimited carbon pollution means more smog, more asthma attacks, and more climate disruption.
And there’s literally no limit to how much carbon polluters are allowed to dump into our air. The EPA is getting ready to finalize the first-ever protections against carbon pollution from new power plants and you can make sure these new safeguards get across the finish line.
The Clean Air Act of 1963 was the first federal legislation regarding air pollution control.
It established a federal program within the U.S. Public Health Service and authorized research into techniques for monitoring and controlling air pollution.
In 1967, the Air Quality Act was enacted in order to expand federal government activities. In accordance with this law, enforcement proceedings were initiated in areas subject to interstate air pollution transport. As part of these proceedings, the federal government for the first time conducted extensive ambient monitoring studies and stationary source inspections.
- Authorized a national program to address air pollution
- Authorized research into techniques to minimize air pollution
- Authorized enforcement procedures involving interstate transport of pollutants
- Expanded research activities
- Established National Ambient Air Quality Standards
- Established requirements for State Implementation Plans to achieve them
- Establishment of New Source Performance Standards for new and modified stationary sources
- Establishment of National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants
- Increased enforcement authority
- Authorized control of motor vehicle emissions
1977 Amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1970
- Authorized provisions related to prevention of significant deterioration
- Authorized provisions relating to non-attainment areas
1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1970
- Authorized programs for acid deposition control
- Authorized controls for 189 toxic pollutants, including those previously regulated by the national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants
- Established permit program requirements
- Expanded and modified provisions concerning National Ambient Air Quality Standards
- Expanded and modified enforcement authority