In an effort to control the concentration of air pollutants at ground level, some companies have built very tall smokestacks—up to a thousand feet high. Tall stacks along with, “intermittent controls”, a term used to describe the practice of cutting back production when weather conditions threaten to raise local pollution levels above ambient air standards.
What can be done to avoid air pollution? This question does not have a simple answer. Every industrial process brings its own set of contaminants to the air. Cooking a meal or simply heating your home contributes to this problem. In fact there are very few activities that so not release some type of contaminant into the atmosphere. It is evident that air pollution will never be completely eliminated. So a more realistic question might be: How can air pollution be reduced to a less harmful level?
Legal actions to place control over the emission of air pollutants have been instituted in several ways. One is in the form of a
law. This is when conditions cause discomfort, inconvenience, damage to property, or injury. A court injunction can be placed against the person or corporation responsible. In a case of community smog it would be pretty impossible to identify who is responsible. So the law governing public nuisances is not very effective.
may be sought in cases of damages for individuals. The individual must clearly link the damage to the pollutant emitted. Thus the burden of proof is on the complainant. This can be very expensive. Often the court will weigh the costs of improving conditions against the benefits.
The government has also intervened in the protection of the public. As a result of much research; devices for pollution control have been developed, guidelines for air quality were established, tax incentives were introduced, and most importantly, enforcement of ordinances for restricting the emission of contaminants—
prescribed emission standards
In 1970, Congress passed the CLEAN AIR ACT, the first comprehensive legislation to reduce air pollution in the United States. This was complemented in 1972 by the similarly aimed WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT. Both dealt with industrial sources of pollution.