Clean Air Act

Throughout history, there have been a vast amount of policies put into action on the plight for environmental sustenance and restoration. As stated in the Birch reading, “public policy evaluation helps define and refine a common vision, encourages the creation and regular updating of information, underlines and reinforces progress or demonstrates weaknesses,failings, or false (null) hypotheses/assumptions of a given policy or program and supports a wider public understanding of the enterprise under consideration” (Birch)

More specifically, the Clean Air Act of the 1970s was endorsed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to “set separate national ambient air quality standards, a minimum level of air quality that all counties are required to meet for six criteria pollutants” (Greenstone). Ultimately, due to the rise in industrial industries and other daily forms of air pollution, the government realized that the air quality in cities across the country was being destroyed and endangering the health of millions of Americans. For this reason, Environmental Protection Agency implemented the Clean Air Act to force these industries and citizens to begin monitoring the impact they were having on air quality in this country.

While reducing air pollution was the overall goal of the Clean Air Act, it is significant to consider how this policy has changed over the years.In the history of Illinois Environmental Protection Agency section of the EPA website, the Clean Air Act is one of the main policies discussed throughout the history of this organization. As seen in the historical break down, the short term goals of the Clean Air Act began to change in an effort to continue on to the main goal of air quality improvement. For example, once the factories and industrial industries were torn down in most parts of Chicago, the government began to focus on other air quality toxins like automobiles and Diesel trucks. Ultimately, while the goal of the Clean Air Act has remained the same, advanced technologies and the rapidly changing city consistently impacts the the ways in which policy makers alter the Clean Air Act to help with current air quality issues.







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