However some have expressed a concern that doing so

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However, some have expressed a concern that doing so might result in a “race to the bottom,” with communities setting low standards in order to keep taxes low in an attempt to attract more investment. Air pollution control The Clean Air Act of 1970 regulates emissions of pollutants into the air from both mobile and stationary sources. The Act required the EPA to establish national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for six common "criteria pollutants": ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, and lead. Carbon dioxide has now been added to the list because of a 2007 ruling of the Supreme Court. Table 12.3 describes the environmental effects of each of the Clean Air Act pollutants and their major sources.
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87 Table 12.3 Clean Air Act Pollutants Pollutant Effects Major Sources Nitrogen oxides (NO X ) Contribute to ozone and particulate matter. Also have adverse effects on respiratory system. Transportation, power plants Ozone (0 3 ) Adverse effects on respiratory system and visibility. In upper atmosphere the effect is beneficial because ozone blocks ultraviolet radiation. Created by chemical reactions between NOx and volatile organic compounds. Particulate matter (PM) Mixture of small particles and liquid droplets, smallest particles are most harmful. Premature death in people with heart or lung disease, cancer, aggravated respiratory symptoms. Fires, dust, agriculture. Sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) Adverse effects on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Also causes acid rain. In upper atmosphere it helps offset climate change by increasing the world’s albedo. Power plants and industrial facilities. Lead (P b ) Adversely affects the nervous system, kidney function, immune system, reproductive and developmental systems, cardiovascular system, and contributes to behavioral problems, learning deficits and lowered IQ. Lead paint, lead pipes, drinking water (and, previously, leaded gasoline) Carbon monoxide (CO) Colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. Transportation Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) In upper atmosphere it contributes to global climate change Transportation, power plants
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88 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) The NAAQS are uniform for the entire country even though pollution damages and abatement costs vary with population density and other factors. The statute instructs the Agency to set standards “the attainment of which...are requisite to protect the public health” including the health of "sensitive" populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly, with “an adequate margin of safety”. The NAAQS imply that the damage functions for the criteria pollutants have “thresholds” below which there are no damages to human health, as illustrated by line A in Figure 13.1. Figure 13.1 Damage Functions Adverse Effect on Health Ambient Concentration A Threshold B If there is a threshold, reducing pollution to a level at or below it would eliminate risks to health but would be likely to be prohibitively costly. However, the Act did not allow for costs to be taken into account, as confirmed by a Supreme Court ruling in 2001.
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