Clean Air Act

by Daniel A. Uribe

Its purpose

The Clean Air act was designed to curb three major threats to the US environment and health of Americans: acid rain, urban air pollution, and toxic air emissions. The act called for establishing permits to make the law more efficient.


  • -encourages the use of market-based principles and other innovative approaches, like performance-based standards and emission banking and trading

  • -provides a framework from which alternative clean fuels will be used by setting standards in the fleet and California pilot program that can be met by the most cost-effective combination of fuels and technology

  • -promotes the use of clean low sulfur coal and natural gas, as well as innovative technologies to clean high sulfur coal through the acid rain program

  • -reduces enough energy waste and creates enough of a market for clean fuels derived from grain and natural gas to cut dependency on oil imports by one million barrels/day

  • -promotes energy conservation through an acid rain program that gives utilities
    flexibility to obtain needed emission reductions through programs that encourage customers to conserve energy.

  • Acid Rain Program

    Phases of Acid Rain Program

    Phase1: April 13, 1995, will reduce annual NOx emissions in the US by over 400,00 tons per year between 1996-1999

    • Phase I ran from 1996 to 1999 and covered Group 1 Boilers.
    • Phase II began in 2000 and covers Group 1 and Group 2 Boilers

    Phase2: NOx reduction by 1.17 million tons per year beginning the year 2000. Also, SO2 reductions will occur.

    • Phase I (began in 1995)
      Affected 263 units at 110 mostly coal-burning electric utility plants located in 21 eastern and midwestern states. An additional 182 units joined Phase I of the program as


      or compensating units, bringing the total number of Phase I affected units to 445.
    • Phase II (began in 2000)
      Added more units to the Acid Rain Program, which with Phase II encompasses over 2,000 units in all. Units that were included for the first time in Phase II included smaller units fired by coal, oil, and gas. The program affects utility units serving generators with an output capacity of greater than 25 megawatts and all new utility units.

    Clean Air interstate rule


    On July 6, 2011, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule that protects the health of millions of Americans by helping states reduce air pollution and achieve clean air standards. This rule, known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, requires states to improve air quality by reducing power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and/or fine particle pollution in other states

    Affected States

    Affected mid to eastern US states


    Required to Reduce Emissions of NOX during the Ozone Season

    Required to Reduce Annual Emissions of SO2 and NOx

    Required to Reduce Annual Emissions of SO2 and NOx

    Big image