Southern States' Clean Air Act Compliance: Ozone and Particulate Matter Standards in Transition

The federal Clean Air Act of 1990 – the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1970 – sets limits on the amount of air pollution allowed across the nation so that all Americans can enjoy the same clean air standards. While states have made tremendous strides in meeting the Act’s requirements, compliance with certain standards has proven to be considerably challenging to particular states and areas with higher concentrations of certain pollutants. These pollutants may be created from within an area’s borders or sometimes in other regions, transported from hundreds of miles away. As the federal government moves to newer, more stringent standards, more states have fallen out of compliance, making the task of clean air attainment even more daunting. 

This Southern Legislative Conference Regional Resource examines several key components of the Clean Air Act in relation to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. In particular, it focuses on state control strategies and compliance in the areas of ozone and particulate matter, as these have had the greatest impact on states’ ability to meet clean air requirements. Additional focus is on the transition between the 1-hour and 8-hour ozone and particulate matter standards. Recent federal actions significantly affecting ozone and particulate matter emissions also are highlighted. 

 

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Southern States' Clean Air Act Compliance: Ozone and Particulate Matter Standards in Transition