The Clean Air Act (1963), a landmark federal environmental law, is aimed at reducing air pollution in the United States. Widely regarded as a dramatic success in improving air quality and reducing health problems in the late 20th century, the act has changed the way Americans live and conduct business by regulating emissions that create smog, acid rain, toxic air pollution, and other airborne hazards produced by such sources as factories, power plants, and motor vehicles. The overall benefits of the law have included trillions of dollars and countless lives saved. Even so, millions of U.S. residents still breathe polluted air. Air pollution, its effects, and our progress in combating it are constantly in the news, especially in urban areas; this entry provides a brief ...

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