The Problem—Increasing Air Pollution in Cities in the mid-1900"s

After World War II, financial development, populace development, fast suburbanization, and also the closing of some public transit systems brought about even more reliance on personal vehicles for transport. The variety of cars and also trucks in the USA raised significantly, as did the number of highmeans. One outcome of the fast boost of motor vehicles was air air pollution, specifically in cities, that had actually significant impacts on public wellness and also the environment.

You are watching: Since almost all forms of transportation produce some type of pollution,

Historic Success of the Clean Air Act

Congress passed the landnote Clean Air Act in 1970 and gave the newly-created the legal authority to regulate air pollution from cars and also various other develops of transport. and the State of The golden state have actually led the national effort to alleviate vehicle contamination by adopting significantly stringent standards.

The U.S. vehicle pollution manage under the Clean Air Act is a significant success story by many kind of measures:

New passenger vehicles are 98-99% cleaner for most tailpipe pollutants compared to the 1960s.Fuels are a lot cleaner—lead has actually been removed, and also sulfur levels are more than 90% lower than they were prior to regulation.U.S. cities have a lot enhanced air quality, despite ever before boosting populace and raising auto miles traveled.Standards have actually sparked innovation invention from sector.

Reducing air pollution from transport sources has resulted in healthier air for Americans. In cities, smog has been visibly decreased. Just compare the imperiods of New York City below.

New York City: 1973 vs. 2013.

Slide the arrows to compare.


Source: Documerica "Then and also Now Challenge"

Pollution from vehicles, engines, and fuels considerably diminished while achieving economic growth

Over forty years of clean air plans have actually enhanced air quality and boosted the health of Americans, and the environment. Due to the fact that 1970, has set and applied egoals criteria to regulate contamination from everything from passenger vehicles, hefty duty trucks and bprovides, building and also farm tools, locomotive and also marine engine and also even lawn and also garden tools. These requirements are a crucial component of the development and also boosted air high quality we have actually achieved despite raised economic activity and also more miles traveled on average per perboy.


Note:CO2 emissions estimate via 2018 (Source: US Greenhome Gas Inventory Report)Gross Domestic Product: Bureau of Economic AnalysisVehicle Miles Traveled: Federal Highmeans AdministrationPopulation: Census BureauEnergy Consumption: Dept. of Energy, Energy Indevelopment AdministrationAggregate Emissions:"s Air Pollutant Egoals Trends Data

Cleaner Cars, Trucks, and also Fuels

Compared to 1970 auto models, brand-new cars, SUVs and pickup trucks are approximately 99 percent cleaner for widespread pollutants (hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and also ppost emissions). New heavy-duty trucks and buses are about 99 percent cleaner than 1970 models.


Lead Removed from Gasoline

Motor vehicles were as soon as the major contributor of lead emissions. began to phase out lead in gasoline founding in the 1970’s and also leaded gasoline was totally prohibited after 1995. As a result, levels of lead in the air lessened by 94 percent in between 1980 and 1999.


Spurring Innovation in Cleaner Cars, Trucks, and also Fuels auto eobjectives requirements directly sparked the development and also implementation of a selection of modern technologies.The automotive catalytic converter, in specific is thought about to be among the great ecological innovations of all time.

Emissions standards resulted in the adoption of many type of modern-day automotive technologies—computer systems, fuel injection, and also on-board diagnostics—bring about cars that are not just a lot cleaner, however likewise higher quality, even more dependable, and also even more resilient.

The car egoals control sector employs about 65,000 Americans with residential annual sales of $26 billion1.


Contributions to the UNITED STATE Economy

Efforts to mitigate air contamination from transport have actually prcooktop to be expense reliable. For eextremely one dollar invested on programs to reduce emissions, the Amerideserve to human being obtain nine dollars of benefits to public health and the atmosphere.

Based on evaluation of significant federal rules from 2000 to 2012.Source: “Report to Congress on the Costs and also Benefits of federal Regulations and Unfunded Mandays on State, Local, and also Tribal Entities”, Office of Management and also Budget Plan. 2001-2013.

Timeline of Major Accomplishments

Air contamination and cars were initially connected in the early 1950’s by a The golden state researcher who figured out that pollutants from website traffic was to blame for the smoggy skies over Los Angeles. At the moment, typical new cars were emitting practically 13 grams per mile hydrocarbons (HC), 3.6 grams per mile nitrogen oxides (NOx), and 87grams per mile carbon monoxide (CO). Because then, the UNITED STATE Environmental Protection Agency ( has actually set requirements to carry dvery own levels of these pollutants, and also the auto sector has actually responded by occurring new emission regulate technologies.

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The Road Ahead

Regardless of our successes, many areas in the United States still have negative local air high quality and also there is even more to be done. is currently taking on the instrumental challenge of climate change. Carbon air pollution from burning fossil fuels is swiftly altering the earth’s climate. The transport sector is among the largest resources of carbon air pollution in the UNITED STATE has actually set carbon egoals requirements for passenger cars and trucks, onroad heavy duty trucks and also bprovides, and is now functioning to construct requirements for aircraft.