Clean Air Act Q&A
What is the Clean Air Act?
The Clean Air Act is literally a lifesaver. Click here to view the Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act.
When was the Clean Air Act signed into law?
It was signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1970. It is one of the most successful environmental laws anywhere in the world.
Have there been any changes to the Clean Air Act since 1970?
Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1990 to control industrial emissions of hazardous air pollutants, but coal-fired plants were exempt until 2000. During the twenty-one years in which the rulings have been in development, American engineers have invented cost-effective technologies to filter emissions. Many American plants have already come into compliance–and it has not cost jobs, or harmed their business. These responsible coal plant executives understand that they must not keep poisoning our air and water.
What are the direct benefits of the Clean Air Act?
The Clean Air Act has prevented hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, millions of asthma attacks, tens of millions of child respiratory illnesses. These health benefits were good for the American economy.
Our environmental technologies industry has exploded and currently generates nearly $300 billion per year in revenue, produces $40 billion in exports, and employs 1.6 million Americans.
The Clean Air Act has delivered $30 in measurable health and economic benefits for every $1 invested.