The Clean Air Act was originally passed back in 1963 and greatly expanded in 1970 under Richard Nixon on the eve of the new year. Over the years, it has gone through a variety of changes including another amendment in 1977. It was one of the first major environmental laws passed in the United States, and the first to include a provision for citizen suits. The citizen suit addition meant that private citizens could take steps to enforce environmental laws, adding an element of honesty in places that otherwise might have slipped under the radar.
The most recent change was a major addition of amendments passed 21 years ago this week. These new amendments provided for major problems facing the country such as acid rain, urban air pollution, toxic air emissions and the depletion of the ozone layer.
This portion of the act also introduced emission trading, or economic incentives for companies that successfully reduced their emissions. The amendments also affected the creation and importation of cars, putting limitations on acceptable level of emissions from gasoline.
This year, celebrate the birthday of the most recent incarnation of the Clean Air Act by improving the quality of air in your home. Invest in a medical-grade air purifier to make your home's air as safe and clean as possible.