1981 Clean Air Act Amendments: A Call for Rhyme and Reason

by Kay H. Jones, (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; Roy F. Weston, Inc., West Chester, PA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1981, Vol. 51, Issue 5, Pg. 47-49

Document Type: Feature article


The state of the nation's clean air legislation is reviewed and found lacking common sense; changes to the law are recommended. Significant improvements in air quality for five major pollutants—carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide—have already been accomplished. The effects of the remaining pollutants on the nation's health and welfare are described as uncertain and, in most cases, below the range of recognized health effects. The situation for each of the major pollutants is reviewed. What is needed is a rejection of the total emissions control mode of air pollution control in favor of an air quality management approach. This is part one of a series.

Subject Headings: Air quality | Quality control | Legislation | Laws | Nitrogen | Ozone | Particle pollution | Sulfur

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