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Clean Air Act Primer

18 June 2010

The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires an unprecedented level of effort from both industry and government in all phases of air quality management. In fact, the CAA Amendments of 1990 are widely regarded as being among the most significant pieces of environmental legislation ever enacted.

To appreciate the implications of the CAA fully, the reader must be familiar with some key air quality concepts that Congress has developed and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has been administering over the past 40 years.

Air quality legislation in the United States covers a wide range of air quality issues and regulates many different types of sources of pollution. For example, major portions of the CAA address automobile and other “mobile source” emissions. For this primer, however, we have focused on those portions of air quality legislation that are more important for readers involved in energy, manufacturing, or other industrial activities.

In this primer, we provide some background on the history of air quality legislation in the United States. We then review the key concepts of air quality management. These terms will form the basis of a clear understanding of the CAA and will introduce concepts that will allow the reader to appreciate the implications of the CAA for industry. At the end of this primer, there is a glossary of key terms common to air quality management.

Download and read the full booklet Clean Air Act Primer (822KB PDF)

Clean Air Act Primer

Learn background on the history of air quality legislation in the United States and review the key concepts of air quality mangement.