WHAT

Chances are, if you have visited a major city in the US, you have encountered some form of smog. Although smog is the most easily recognizable form of air pollution, it is not the only type we have been unknowingly inhaling in our everyday lives. Just as there are various types of air pollution, there are also various components of air pollution, some of which we can work towards reducing. According to the EPA, sources include “stationary sources such as factories, power plants, and smelters and smaller sources such as dry cleaners and degreasing operations; mobile sources such as cars, buses, planes, trucks, and trains; and naturally occurring sources such as windblown dust, and volcanic eruptions, all contribute to air pollution.”1

WHY

According to the World Health Organization, “By reducing air pollution levels, countries can reduce the burden of disease from stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma.” Since so may people are affected by air pollution, it is a collective action problem and it will be beneficial to everyone to reduce amount of particles in the air. In 2012, urban and rural areas were the reason for about 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide.2 Although deaths due to air pollution are tragic, they are something that can be prevented by reducing “outdoor emissions from household coal and biomass energy systems, agricultural waste incineration, forest fires and certain agro-forestry activities (e.g. charcoal production).”2 However, there have been many examples of policy successes such as “clean technologies that reduce industrial smokestack emissions,” “shifting to clean modes of power generation,” “prioritizing rapid urban transit,” and “walking and cycling networks in citizens as well as rail interurban freight and passenger travel.”2

HOW

These particular items are not endorsed or promoted by the US Green Chamber of Commerce. These are used for informational purposes. (as of Feb 17, 2016)

• Water and Agriculture Tax Reform Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr4220)

“To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to facilitate water leasing and water transfers to promote conservation and efficiency.”

• Clean Air Implementation Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr4265)

“To amend the Clean Air Act with respect to national ambient air quality standards, including the 2015 ozone standards, and for other purposes.”

• Clean Air, Strong Economies Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1388)

“To improve the establishment of any lower ground-level ozone standards, and for other purposes.”

• Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard Deadline Harmonization Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr4000)

“To harmonize requirements of the 2008 and 2015 ozone national ambient air quality standards, and for other purposes.”

• H.R. 1044 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1044)

“This bill amends the Clean Air Act to modify provisions regarding geographical areas that do not attain the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone and carbon monoxide. Currently, if an ozone or carbon monoxide nonattainment area is classified as a serious, severe, or extreme area, the nonattainment area’s boundaries must be revised to include the entire metropolitan statistical area or consolidated metropolitan statistical area. This bill directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require each state to revise the boundaries of all of these nonattainment areas that expanded to include the entire statistical area. States must exclude from the nonattainment area all counties within each statistical area that are not in violation of the NAAQS concerned, as determined by air quality monitoring and not by computer modeling.”

• S. 2072 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2072)

“To require the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a program under which the Administrator shall defer the designation of an area as a nonattainment area for purposes of the 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standard if the area achieves and maintains certain standards under a voluntary early action compact plan.”

• ORDEAL Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1327)

“To amend the Clean Air Act to delay the review and revision of the national ambient air quality standards for ozone.”

• Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s577)

“A bill to amend the Clean Air Act to eliminate the corn ethanol mandate for renewable fuel.”

• BREATHE Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1548)

“To amend the Clean Air Act to eliminate the exemption for aggregation of emissions from oil and gas sources, and for other purposes.”

• Leave Ethanol Volumes at Existing Levels Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr434)

“To repeal certain amendments to the Clean Air Act relating to the expansion of the renewable fuel program, and for other purposes.”

REFERENCES

EPA. “Air Quality.” Air Quality. Accessed February 22, 2016. http://www3.epa.gov/airquality/cleanair.html. “Ambient (outdoor) Air Quality and Health.” World Health Organization. Accessed February 22, 2016. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs313/en/.