On the Road to Clean Air

by John Prendergast, Associate Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 8, Pg. 32-35

Document Type: Feature article


Anticipating passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act in the fall of the year, this article examines the remaining air quality problems in U.S. cities and some efforts underway or being planned around the country aimed at complying with the expected regulations. While air quality is a lot better than it would have been without the past two decades' activities, about 80 million Americans are still breathing unhealthy air. The main cause is motor vehicles. They account for the vast majority of carbon monoxide emissions and at least half of ozone-related emissions in urban areas. Key actions to control emissions, according to environmental groups and some officials, are tighter emissions controls, provisions for reformulated and oxygenated gasoline and conversion of motor vehicles to alternative fuels such as methanol and compressed natural gas. Fleet vehicles are receiving the major attention with regard to conversions. Efforts to control emissions of carbon monoxide and/or ozone in New York City, the area around Lake Michigan, Houston, and the Los Angeles basin are described.

Subject Headings: Emissions | Vehicles | Highways and roads | Air quality | Urban areas | Carbon monoxide | Ozone | Environmental issues | United States | New York City | New York | Lake Michigan | Great Lakes | Texas | Los Angeles | California

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