Cars are regulated on the amount of emissions they are allowed to emit. The 1990 Clean Air Act is a federal law covering the entire country, although the states do much of the work to carry out the Act. Under this law, the Environmental Protection Agency sets limits on how much of a pollutant can be in the air anywhere in the United States. This ensures that all Americans have the same basic health and environmental protections. The law allows individual states to have stronger pollution controls, but not weaker controls than those set for the whole country.
• Here is some interesting historical information about the Clean Air Act
• What Has Been Done to Control Automobile Emissions?
• The 1990 Clean Air Act - What's New?
• What Has Emission Control Meant for Air Quality?
• The 1990 Amendments: The View from the Driver's Seat
• A Summary of Some Specific Clean Air Act Programs
• Timetable for Selected Mobile Source Provisions of the 1990 Clean Air Act
• Some Facts about air pollution in the US as a result of vehicle emissions.
• Write a Log
• You can begin writing a log by collecting information about type(s) of vehicle emissions testing in your community, the test procedures, what can you do if your car just failed an emissions test, and what the level of air pollution is in your community due to vehicle emissions. You can create two columns; in one column you can write the information you collect, and in the other your questions/interpretations.
• Take a file Trip
• Visit a nearby science center or museum of science. Request information on educational programs for air pollution. Look for exhibits that relate to the causes and effects of air pollution due to vehicle emissions. Note: If there is no such museum nearby, write to the nearest one and request information on educational programs or their exhibits that deal with air pollution and its effects.
• Visit a Vehicle Emissions Testing Center in your county. Request information on the testing procedures for vehicles emissions. If there is no such center nearby, write to the nearest one and request information about the center, the testing procedures, what happens when vehicles fail the emissions test etc.
• For High School students in DuPage County: Visit Davea Career Center, talk to the students and the teachers of the Automotive Career Area, and request information on the testing procedures they use for vehicle emissions. Prepare a list of questions that you want to ask them.
• For the Davea students: Exploring the Internet!
• Sources of information about air pollution in your community