Ways to control air pollution
What are the Measures USA Takes to Control Air Pollution?
Air pollution is a serious problem in the USA. The situation has been improving since the 1970s through the efforts of the government and other private organizations. Air pollution affects the general health of the population and can also destroy plants through acidification. This paper will focus on the various steps that have been taken to control air pollution in USA.
Control of Pollutants
Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970. This act outlines six common pollutants and sets standards for these elements. These pollutants include particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, ozone gas, nitrogen dioxide, lead and carbon monoxide. The law requires every state to come up with plans on how to minimize these pollutants. According to the government, factories and motor vehicles should be developed with the latest technology in order to reduce the emission of dangerous elements.
Hazardous Air Pollutants
Certain pollutants are known to cause serious health problems such as cancer. Pollutants that lead to bioaccumulation of metals are particularly dangerous. The Clean Air Act states that these elements should be eliminated from the air in two phases.
The first phase is technology-based. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will develop standards for the minimization of these toxins from the air. These standards will be based on the lowest emission standards that are presently being achieved in specific industries.
The second phase is supposed to be implemented within 8 years. Within this period, the EPA will determine whether the lowest emission standards arrived at in the first phase are sufficient for the protection of the public. The organization will also have to assess its effects on the environment. If necessary, the EPA will revise the standards.
The Acidic Rain Program
This program was established in 1990 as an amendment to the Clean Air Act (CAA). It aims at eliminating or minimizing the emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from power factories since these are the key elements that contribute to acid rain. This program sets a cap on the maximum emission of these elements from electric generating units (EGU). Presently, the cap is set at about 9 million tonnes, and this is a lot lower than that of previous years.
Elements that deplete the ozone layer are grouped as class I or II controlled substances. Those in the first class are highly dangerous and have completely been eliminated. On the other hand, those in the second class are simply being controlled. Phase II substances include all HCFCs. Ozone depleting substances are eliminated in phases. The production or importation of new HCFCs will not be acceptable by 2020. However, these elements will still be used in refrigerators and other already existing appliances.
Although the USA is one of the countries with the highest levels of air pollution, it has taken steps to control this problem. The Clean Air Act was established in 1970 and has been vital in the reduction of pollutants in the environment.
Acid Rain Program. (2018, April 3). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/acid-rain-program.
Controlling Hazardous Air Pollutants. (2017, March 17). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/haps/controlling-hazardous-air-pollutants.
Why is air pollution a problem
Air pollution is one of the most difficult challenges that the USA is facing. Currently, reforms are being undertaken to ensure that these challenges are resolved. It is important to know that air pollution has considerable effects on the ozone and human health altogether. The necessity of controlling this epidemic is therefore relevant to our discussion.
First, being a patriot of a country, it is necessary to understand the kind of house and office equipment you are using. Energy star label ensures that the product being sold by a company is minimizing the effects of air pollution. The USA government should, therefore, pass policies that restrain consumers from buying non-verified equipment regarding standards. Another possible remedy could be the minimization of personal vehicles that are congested within towns. Countries such as China have developed public transports and use of electric trains and bikes within town centers. The development green energy over the current use of burning energy could significantly improve the reduction of the levels of Carbon products released in the ozone. Similarly, strictness when monitoring vehicles inroads to determine proper tuning of engines will considerably pay off in smoke discharge. The government should also ensure that the type of paints used in the building is environmentally friendly. Correspondingly, the government should also regulate the use of farm chemicals by providing control policies that determine proper use of farm chemicals.
The Environmental Protection Agency should also come up with definite standards to regulate the levels of carbon released in power plants. This is after discovering that there are no set standards of the maximum published levels of carbon. The government should also advance on the levels of renewable energy such as electricity to reduce the usage of the non-renewable toxic source of energy within households. It is also relevant to minimize the usage level of chlorofluorocarbons that are used in soaps and detergents to control their effects on the environment. The government should also offer funds for innovation to create better energy sources such as solar plants, which are low carbon technologies. Similarly, the involvement of private investors in global mitigation to extend research on how to dispose of carbon wastes could bear positive fruits to the society. The banning of municipal waste burning and biomass burning from farm wastes should also be withheld with strict penalties imposed. The necessity to ensure that there are no gas leakages through maintaining constant checkup of gas pipes will contribute is both safety and environmental management. Energy audits should also be instructed annually to assess each home usage of unsafe energy, and improvements that could be done for the same issue. The government should also emphasize the use of fans to replace the air conditioners as it uses less energy and has less effect on the environment. Although with minimum effects, smoking control is also a possible remedy for this epidemic. The burning of tobacco has vast amounts of carbon that result in air pollution.