Linn County Air Quality Division
Skip Navigation Links

Clean Air Act Amendments Anniversary

November 16, 2017

On November 15, 1990, the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) were enacted with overwhelming bipartisan support from Congress. Congress came together to address dangerous air pollution threatening the health of millions of Americans and harming our environment. These amendments have tightened standards for tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks and aided in the restoration of the ozone layer that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation, which is a leading cause of skin cancer.

Since the Clean Air Act was passed and amended, the combined emissions of the six most common pollutants, smog forming pollutants, and lead have been reduced by 70%.

Pollution reductions under the CAAA have prevented over 200,000 premature deaths each year and significantly reduced other health impacts. However, communities across the country are still breathing dirty air, with 72 cities having more than 100 bad air days in 2015.

For more information, the EPA has created a "plain English" guide to the Clean Air Act. This guide includes information on air pollution and its effects, the key elements of the Clean Air Act, how the regulations have improved the air quality, and ways to further reduce air pollution.