The Clean Air Act was amended in 1990 and was established to boost local air quality by focusing on polluting sources. In the regions with poor air quality, polluting industries are required to make extra investments in pollution reduction. The research on the industry level indicated that these requirements affect the output and location of polluting industries. Therefore, the Clean Air Act was enacted to regulate pollutants, which are known as criteria pollutants.
The policy should abide with the permitted levels for each criteria pollutant. In the case a locality fails to meet the set standards over a three-year period, it is subject to being declared a non-attainment area. This determination is under administrative decision within the US environmental protection Agency (USEPA). When the region is declared to be in non-attainment, the state is needed to develop a state implementation plan describing what actions will be taken to meet the NAAQS (Carr and Yan, 2012). Therefore, stricter environmental regulations will be applied in non-attainment regions in order to improve local air quality.
Likewise, the features of the Clean Air Act raise the issue of federalism in its weakness and strengths. The policy is meant to improve the local air quality. Likewise, those do not abide by the requirements are reported in the Federal Register by country. This generates variation in regulatory severity across localities within the region, providing a valuable context for analyzing federal environmental regulations. The technology based pollution reduction standards are enforced in non-attainment regions that require existing polluting facilities to utilize reasonably available control technology, which pertains retrofitting. They are required to employ technology vital to attain the lowest achievable emission rate despite the cost. However, these requirements are more costly than those for new firms in attainment regions, which are mainly required to utilize the best available control technology (Carr and Yan, 2012). Therefore, the polluting industries located in nonattainment regions experience higher pollution reduction costs compared to similar facilities in attainment areas (Wood, 2006).
Similarly, this policy is meant to promote fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people despite their race, color, national origin, or income based on the development, implementation, adoption, and execution of the policy. It ensures fair treatment where no group of people such as race, socioeconomic group, and ethnic should accept an unequal share of the destructive environmental consequences from the implementation of the policy. However, federalism is central to many current controversial environmental issues. For instance, there are constant fights between EPA and the states over implementation of federal clean air policy (Colangelo, 2011). Therefore, the practice of federalism in bureaucracies and legislatures remains a critical component in the evolution of environmental policy.
Therefore, Clean Air Act is considered effective because it is meant to achieve the intended objectives and demonstrate how targeted problem are solved. The policy is also beneficial to the public sector as the diversified policy to improve society’s ability to generate sufficient and stable inflow of tax revenue, which promote economic growth (Jones and Thomas, 2000). However, it is vital for the federal government to note that not only diversification that promote the effectiveness of the policy. This is so because not every part of diversification is consistent with the objective of the policy. Therefore, communities experiencing non-attainment regulations should recognize that the undesirable local economic consequences such as increased unemployment and reduction of government revenue. They should also recognize the persistence of local reductions in specialization. Finally, for the policy to attain its effectiveness, it may be possible to improve air quality at a reduced local economic cost.
Carr, D., & Yan, W. (2012). Federal Environmental Policy and Local Industrial Diversification: The Case of the Clean Air Act. Regional Studies, 46(5), 639 –649.
Colangelo , A. (2011, May 26). Public Policy: Policy Making in Federal System by Allyson Colangelo on Prezi. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from http://prezi.com/jv14a7- xqych/public-policy-policy-making-in-federal-system/
Jones, C. O., & Thomas, R. D. (2000). Public policy making in a federal system. Beverly Hills: Sage.
Wood, D. (2006). Modeling federal implementation as a system: The clean air case. American Journal of Political Science., 36(1), 40.68.