Pollution Sign


Pollution Sign


This sign was on a gas station door across from a United States Steel Corporation Coke Plant in Clairton, PA. Prior to this, the Plant had been found in violation of the Clean Air Act, emitting high levels of pollutants. A gentle reminder to gas station patrons, it reads: "Polluted Air Area / Please Turn Off Motor / We Need The Fresh Air."

Signed by President Richard Nixon on New Year's Eve, 1970, the Clean Air Act was created to protect both public health and the environment. This piece of legislation had a major impact on the government's role in pollution control, authorizing regulations to limit emissions from both mobile and industrial sources. Regulatory programs, such as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) were implemented, while authorities on these matters were expanded. By 1990, it had prevented more than 200,000 early deaths and nearly 700,00 instances of chronic bronchitis.

Two significant amendments have been made since 1970. In 1977, there were provisions on the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD), as well as new requirements for non-attainment areas (geographic regions that do not meet federal air quality standards) . 1990 saw an increase in both authority and responsibility of the government, as well as the introduction of new regulatory programs (e.g., acid rain). Significant modifications were made to the provisions of NAAQS, as well as changes to ozone protection and research programs.

Today, the Clean Air Act helps reduce concentrations of air pollutants, reduce emissions, and seeks to phase out chemicals that are destroying our ozone layer. Sources of these pollutants include power/chemical plants, gas stations, planes, and vehicles.

The Clean Air Act has had a significant effect on pollution levels in the United States. Over the past two decades, it has reduced six major air pollutant emissions by more than 41 percent. Many tools are available to the public to track pollution; In addition to local, state, and EPA reports on air quality, there is the "Air Quality Index" (AQI), which tracks pollution for local areas by way of color code. Keeping tabs on air quality is the best way to check the progress of the Clean Air Act.


John Alexandrowicz






Link: Wikipedia


Source: Clean Air Act. (n.d.). United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved Oct 9, 2012, from http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/index.html


John Alexandrowicz


John Alexandrowicz


Medium: Photograph






Clean Air Act, CAA, Anti-Pollution, NAAWS, Emissions Limits, PSD, AQI


United States




John Alexandrowicz, Pollution Sign, John Alexandrowicz, Apr-73

Cite As

John Alexandrowicz, “Pollution Sign,” Virtual Museum of Public Service, accessed May 24, 2022, https://vmps.omeka.net/items/show/215.