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September 21, 2010 > Air District celebrates 40th anniversary of Clean Air Act

Air District celebrates 40th anniversary of Clean Air Act

Submitted By Ralph Borrmann

The week beginning September 13, 2010, marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Air Act, a landmark law that serves to protect and improve air quality in the United States.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the regional agency chartered with protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area, was established in 1955 to deal with increasingly unhealthy air quality in the region. Since its passage in 1970, the Clean Air Act has spurred significant improvements in human health policies and lead to the implementation of increased environmental conservation efforts in the United States.

Since 1970, the law's impact can be measured in the Bay Area in several key ways, including:

Ozone pollution has been reduced by one third, even though population and the economy have grown significantly. Public exposure to ozone pollution has decreased by 90 percent. Carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide have been effectively controlled and have not reached unhealthy levels for decades. In 1973, the Air District pioneered vapor recovery controls on gas pumps which are now used throughout the world. The Air District continues to pioneer innovative and cost-effective air quality controls.

In support of the Clean Air Act's 40th anniversary, the Air District will share with the public landmark achievements that have come from the District's work in support of the Act in the last four decades. Residents can check the Air District's Facebook and Twitter feeds to view photographs showing air pollution from times past in the Bay Area, and information highlighting improvements in public health and air quality.

For more information about the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, visit

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