Clean Air Act

Last updated: 21 February 2022

The Clean Air Act (CAA) is the primary federal air quality law of the United States. Initially enacted in 1963, it was amended in 1970, 1977, and 1990, and has been a comprehensive law to control air pollution and, increasingly has been used to control greenhouse gases (GHG). The law is administered by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA). 


Under Section 7411(b) of the CAA, EPA sets New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for GHG emissions from new, modified, and reconstructed sources. Under Section 7411(d), EPA must establish a procedure for States to submit plans to establish standards of performance for existing sources. 


Pursuant to Section 7411(b), the EPA has established performance standards applicable to facilities in the oil and gas sector covering volatile organic compounds and methane emissions. 

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