An Interactive History of the Clean Air Act

An Interactive History of the Clean Air Act, 1st Edition

Scientific and Policy Perspectives

An Interactive History of the Clean Air Act, 1st Edition,Jonathan Davidson,Joseph Norbeck,ISBN9780123914507





Provides an overview of the Clean Air Act, including its history, implementation, and the scientific, technological, and political factors that influenced policy

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Key Features

  • 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


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.


Political Scientists, Environmental Scientists, Legal Scholars, Government Agencies

Jonathan Davidson

Affiliations and Expertise

Environmental Research Institute, University of California, Riverside, USA

Joseph Norbeck

Affiliations and Expertise

Environmental Research Institute, University of California, Riverside, USA

An Interactive History of the Clean Air Act, 1st Edition

  • Preface
  • 1. Introduction and Overview
    • 1.1. The Historical Context for Clean Air Act Implementation
    • 1.2. An Adaptive Regulatory Framework
    • 1.3. EPA and State Responses to Clean Air Act Mandates
    • 1.4. Industry and Trade Associations Respond to Technological Challenges
    • 1.5. The Impact of Science–Policy Interactions on Clean Air Act Implementation
  • 2. An Expanding Federal Presence in Air Quality Controls
    • 2.1. Precedent for the Clean Air Act of 1970
    • 2.2. The Framework of the Clean Air Act of 1970
    • 2.3. Allocating Administrative Roles to Meet Clean Air Act Requirements
    • 2.4. The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments Redefine Federal, State, and Industry Roles
    • 2.5. Clean Air Act Strategies: Air Quality Management and Direct Standards for Stationary and Mobile Sources
    • 2.6. Current Dynamics in Clean Air Act Implementation
  • 3. Federal Leadership in Clean Air Act Implementation
    • 3.1. Phase I: 1970–1977
    • 3.2. Legislative and Administrative Adjustments in the 1977 Amendments
    • 3.3. The EPA in the 1980s: “New Federalism”
    • 3.4. Implementation Issues in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments
    • 3.5. The EPA Confronts Twenty-First Century Challenges
    • 3.6. EPA Budget and Staff Resources
    • 3.7. EPA’s Present Structure and Functions
    • 3.8. EPA’s Continuing Role: Balancing Consensus Initiatives with Legal Mandates
  • 4. State Implementation Planning for Clean Air
    • 4.1. Evolving Program Structures in State Air Quality Programs
    • 4.2. Funding for State Programs
    • 4.3. Regulatory Strategies in SIPs
    • 4.4. Collaborative Processes in State Air Quality Programs
    • 4.5. The Balancing Role for States Between Federal Directives and Business Regulation
  • 5. Industry Responses to the Clean Air Act
    • 5.1. Ford Motor Company
    • 5.2. DuPont
    • 5.3. Rohm and Haas
    • 5.4. Exxon Mobil
    • 5.5. Texas Instruments
    • 5.6. 3M Corporation
    • 5.7. The Procter & Gamble Company
    • 5.8. Boeing
    • 5.9. The Impact of Expanded Federal Regulations on Small-Scale Stationary Sources
    • 5.10. Sustainable Development as an Emerging Element in Corporate Culture
    • 5.11. Corporate Advocacy in Climate Change Policies
  • 6. Industry and Multi-State Association Roles
    • 6.1. Associations Representing the Automobile Industry
    • 6.2. The American Chemistry Council and the Responsible Care® Program
    • 6.3. The American Petroleum Institute
    • 6.4. Aerospace Industry Association
    • 6.5. The Edison Electric Institute
    • 6.6. Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management
    • 6.7. State Air Quality Consortiums in Other Regions
    • 6.8. Associations as Intermediaries Among EPA, States, and Industries
  • 7. Lessons Learned
  • Appendix. State Survey Responses
  • Bibliography
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