U.S. Regulations Require Effective Industrial Air Emissions Control
Younger generations in the United States have relatively little experience with significant levels of air pollution in this country. Because of legislation passed decades ago, the problem has decreased dramatically. Industries require effective air emissions control to keep pollution in check.
People who grew up before the Clean Air Act was passed still might see the effects of winter inversions in mountain valleys or the continuing problem of smog in the Los Angeles basin. They may have smelled the unpleasant odor of a wood pulp mill or an animal rendering plant. Nevertheless, air emissions control equipment has reduced pollution dramatically since the 1960s.
The Clean Air Act initially set new limitations for emissions by industries and mobile sources, including all vehicles. This was the reason automobile manufacturers had to start including catalytic converters to minimize exhaust emissions. Industrial plants may use catalytic oxidizers to remove volatile organic compounds from the exhaust stream.
Congress has amended this legislation four times to strengthen the law and add more requirements. For instance, the 1990 amendment was specifically intended to significantly reduce sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen emissions. This, in turn, would decrease acid rain and urban smog. It would reduce toxic air pollution in general, thus contributing to improvements in public health.
Skeptics may think this 1990 amendment must have been jammed through by a Democrat-majority Congress. In fact, it was passed by a Congressional supermajority. About 89% of senators and 95% of representatives voted in favor.
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