Air pollution

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Retrieved from: Air Pollution Conflict Article
Regulations have helped tremendously however, there has been an issue with the coal burning plants that were exempted from the Clean Air Act laws because they were grandfathered in. Factory plants that were built before the 1970s were exempted from the new Clean Air Act standards because there was an expectation that since they were already old they would retire soon. Unfortunately, this was not the case and many of the plants grandfathered in are the ones continually polluting the air the most with its large amounts of acid rain to the atmosphere without being penalized. The acid rain is the result from sulfur dioxide and nitrogen emissions from fossil fuel burning plants. When these substances leave the earth they return as acid rain and harm water streams, national parks, and human health. Many people argue that these unregulated plants are large contributors to human health issues. “Within the power plant sector, these grandfathered plants generate 52 percent of the country's energy, yet produce 97 percent of the acid rain- and haze-causing sulfur dioxide, 85 percent of the ozone smog-causing nitrogen oxide and 99 percent of toxic mercury pollution from the utility sector”(Birdsong, 2000). After many years the federal government took action and implemented changes to the factories regulations grandfathered in by creating “The New Source Review” in where old factories were considered new sources if they expanded or modified their equipment (Save Clean Air Act, 2005). People believe that if grandfathered plants were ordered to follow the CCA standards as all other plants there would be a much more positive effect on air quality (Birdson, 2000). Many people argue that if EPA c...

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... Conflict, 969). Some people may argue that EPA regulations have not made much of a difference because people still are developing respiratory issues and skin cancer because of the stronger sun radiation caused by ozone depletion; however, without these new laws emissions of toxic substances would be out of control. There definitely needs to be more done to continue to target air pollution caused by changes within society. Not everyone agrees with the decisions that EPA makes to diminish air pollutants because they believe that the costs outweigh the benefits produced. But they need to understand that EPA makes decisions not to make their life more difficult and to hurt the economy, but because it is their duty to protect the health, welfare, and the environment of the public. With this in mind regulations set by EPA have definitely been the most cost effective.

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