EPA: Key Air Pollutants Drop 73 Percent Since 1970


Americans who value clean air and robust economic growth do not need to make an either-or choice, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s new annual report on air quality.

The EPA report released Tuesday finds that between 1970 and 2017, the “combined emissions” of six main kinds of pollutants decreased by 73 percent even as the U.S. economy grew substantially over the 47 years.

In a formal statement, acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said:

Through federal and state implementation of the Clean Air Act and technological advances in the private sector, America has achieved one of the great public-private successes of our time—dramatically improving air quality and public health while simultaneously growing the nation’s population and economy.

This report details a remarkable achievement that should be recognized, celebrated, and replicated around the world. A 73 percent reduction in any other social ill, such as crime, disease, or drug addiction, would lead the evening news.

Congress originally passed the Clean Air Act in 1970, following up with “major revisions” in 1977 and 1990. Under the law, the EPA must rely upon scientific data to create “national ambient air quality standards” for pollutants.

In response, the agency set standards for six “criteria pollutants …read more