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The Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act

Public Participation

Learn More About
Clean Air Act Programs

To learn more about air quality, visit www.epa.gov/air. This site contains information about the air quality in your community and provides information on topics such as: commonly found air pollutants, transportation pollution programs, air toxics, acid rain, and stratospheric ozone depletion.

Public participation is a very important part of the 1990 Clean Air Act. Throughout the Act, different provisions give the public opportunities to take part in determining how the law is carried out.

Often, when EPA is working on a major rule, the Agency will hold hearings in various cities across the country, at which the public can comment. You can also submit written comments directly to EPA for inclusion in the public record associated with that rule. Or, for instance, you can participate in development of a state or tribal implementation plan. Commenting on a state or tribal plan could be worthwhile since approaches for cleaning up pollution could have direct effects on the way you and your family live.

The 1990 Clean Air Act gives you opportunities to take direct action to get pollution cleaned up in your community. You can get involved in reviewing air pollution permits for industrial sources in your area. You also can ask EPA, your state or tribe to take action against a polluter, and, in some cases, you may be able to take legal action against a source's owner or operator.

Reports required by the 1990 Clean Air Act are usually available to the public. Those reports include a great deal of information on how much pollution is being released by industrial and commercial sources. Monitoring data collected by EPA, states and tribes that measure the level of selected pollutants in a community's air are also available to the public. Information on air emissions and monitoring data can be found at: www.epa.gov/airtrends and www.airnow.gov.

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