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Synopsis

The Clean Air Act of 1970 set out for the United States a basic, yet ambitious, objective to reduce pollution to levels that protect health and welfare. The Act set out state and federal regulations to limit emissions and the Environmental Protection Agency was established to help enforce the regulations. The Act has since had several amendments, notably in 1977 and 1990, and has successfully helped to increase air quality. This book reviews the history of the Clean Air Act of 1970 including the political, business, and scientific elements that went into establishing the Act, emphasizing the importance that scientific evidence played in shaping policy. The analysis then extends to examine the effects of the Act over the past forty years including the Environmental Protection Agency’s evolving role and the role of states and industry in shaping and implementing policy. Finally, the book offers best practices to guide allocation of respective government and industry roles to guide sustainable development.

The history and analysis of the Clean Air Act presented in this book illustrates the centrality of scientific analysis and technological capacity in driving environmental policy development. It would be useful for policy makers, environmental scientists, and anyone interested in gaining a clearer understand of the interaction of science and policy.



  • Offers an overview of the 1970 Clean Air Act and its subsequent effects
  • Highlights the relationship between policy and scientific discovery
  • Extracts lessons from the United States to apply to other policy and national contexts

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