Wednesday, September 15, 2010

EPA celebrates the Clean Air Act

The year 2010 mark as the 40th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), founded on 1970 when Richard Nixon was president. Since EPA has dramatically reshaped the cars Americans drive along with the air we breathe, primarily by passing stringent pollution control standards that have substantially reduced vehicle tailpipe emissions.

For response to the Clean Air Act Extension, which was passed by Congress in 1970 and which laid out the major provisions of the Act, President Nixon redirected the functions of various agencies into the EPA. Among other things, the Clean Air Act prompted the installation of catalytic converters in cars, starting with the 1975 model year. Efforts to clean up tailpipe pollution also led to other technological advances, such as fuel injection and electronic engine management controls, which have made engines much cleaner and more fuel efficient over the years.

In a press conference today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson credited the Clean Air Act, with preventing tens of thousands of premature deaths and many times that number of non-lethal illnesses every year.