Major

Political Science

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Abstract

The Clean Air Act, passed in 1970, is a major piece of U.S. legislation that governs ambient air pollution through National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) established by the Environmental Protection Agency. This piece of legislation became very effective after it was amended in 1990. This amendment allowed the Environmental Protection Agency greater power in enforcement of the Act as well as more responsibility in tracking air quality across the country. Locally, Akron and Cleveland did not attain NAAQS standards until shortly after the 1990 amendment was implemented. Why? Did the amendment cause Akron and Cleveland to lower emissions of hazardous chemicals, and would the cities maintain those standards after 1990? By examining EPA data and observing overall trends, it is clear that the concentration of hazardous chemicals dropped drastically after the passage of the 1990 amendment to the Clean Air Act and that a correlation exists between the two. Lead levels dropped by 96.3% in Cleveland from 1980-2010, with nickel and chromium concentrations dropping by 64.3% and 63.2% respectively over the same time frame.

Research Sponsor

Dr. O'Sullivan

First Reader

Dr. Marcin

Second Reader

Dr. Gelleny

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