Clean Air Act



Originally enacted in 1955 to protect the nation’s air quality, the Clean Air Act (“CAA”), took its current form after the 1990 amendments. 42 U.S.C. 7401–7671q. The CAA defines its purpose as “to protect and enhance the quality of the Nation’s air resources so as to promote the public health and welfare and the productive capacity of its population.” 42 U.S.C. § 7401.  The Act provides a comprehensive and complex regulatory framework for regulating stationary and mobile sources of air pollution.  It requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish minimum national standards for air quality, and assigns primary responsibility for enforcement and compliance to the states.   The Act also establishes a permit system for all major sources of pollution and addresses prevention of pollution in areas with clean air. Read the full overview


Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.

Major Statutes

Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7401–7671q

Major Provisions

Transported Air Pollution, 42 U.S.C. § 7410(a)(2)(D)

Air Quality Control Regions, 42 U.S.C. § 7407

Hazardous Air Pollutants, 42 U.S.C. § 7412

New Source Performance Standards, 42 U.S.C. § 7411

Permits, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7502–03

Listing of Certain Unregulated Pollutants, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7422


E.P.A. Air Programs, 40 C.F.R. §§ 50–98

National Primary and Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards, 40 C.F.R. § 50

Requirements for Preparation, Adoption, and Submittal of Implementation Plans, 40 C.F.R. § 51

Air Emissions Reporting Requirements, 40 C.F.R. § 51, Subpart A

National Volatile Organic Compound Emission Standards for Consumer and Commercial Products 40 C.F.R. § 59

Standards of Performance for Grain Elevators, 40 C.F.R. § 60.300–.310

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollution

Distribution and Use of Phosphogypsum for Outdoor Agricultural Purposes, 40 C.F.R. § 61.204

Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting, 40 C.F.R. § 98

Case Law

Case Law Index for Clean Air Act

Administrative Law Decisions

E.P.A. Office of Administrative Law Judges

Clean Air Act: Agriculture-Related Enforcement Cases

Center published USDA Judicial Officer’s Decisions

Center Research Publications

Environmental Law: Federal Laws That Affect Agriculture – PowerPoint Presentation (Springsteen)

2005 Environmental Law Update (Feitshans)

Managing Carbon in a World Economy: The Role of American Agriculture (Garry)

Congressional Research Service Reports

Reports– published and made available by CRS beginning in 2017

Subjects- published by CRS and made available by NALC until 2018:

Climate Change

Energy & Natural Resources

Environmental Issues

Environmental Policy

Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal publications on Clean Water Act:

Environmental Issues

Pesticides, Herbicides, Insecticides, Fungicides, Fertilizers

Reference Resources

Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

National Research Program: Soil and Air

National Research Program: Agricultural and Industrial Byproducts

Economic Research Service (ERS)

Fertilizers and Pesticides

Climate Change

Conservation Programs

Crop & Livestock Practices

Environmental Quality

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Agriculture Home

Agriculture: Air Topics

Agriculture: Inventory and Emissions Factors

Agricultural Burning

Animal Feeding Operations – Air Programs

Criteria Air Pollutants

Clean Air Act(CAA) Compliance Monitoring

Clean Air Act Stationary Source Compliance Monitoring Strategy

Clean Air Act Permitting for Greenhouse Gases

Clean Air Act: Summary

Non Road Diesel Vehicles and Engines

Particulate Matter: Agriculture

Plain English Guide to the Clean Air Act

Air Research

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

NIFA Air Quality Programs

Global Change and Climate Programs

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

Agricultural Air Quality Task Force

Air Quality and Atmospheric Change

Conservation Technical Assistance

Office of the Chief Economist

Climate Change Reports

National Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Congressional Resources

Reports on Clean Air Act (Government Accountability Office)

Clean Air Act: EPA Should Improve the Management of Its Air Toxics Program (GAO, 2006)

Other Federal Resources

AirNow (Current Air Quality Index)

Managing Manure to Improve Air and Water Quality (ERS, 2005)

USAID, Environment and Global Climate Change

Clean Air Task Force


One if by Land, Two if by Sea, Three if by Air: The Changing Face of Environmental Regulation of Production Agriculture (Ferrell & Lashmet, 2016)

The Creature from the Potomac Basin: Environmental Law under the Trump Administration (Ferrell, Goeringer & Lashmet, 2017)

The Clean Air Act Handbook (American Bar Association, 4th edition)

Valuing The Clean Air Act (Holladay, 2017)

Policy Evolution under the Clean Air Act (Schalensee & Stavins, 2018)

Impact of the Clean Air Act (Pediatr 2014)

International Resources

CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

Climate & Clean Air Coaliton

Additional Resources

Air Quality in Animal Agriculture (extension)

Animal Agriculture and Air Quality (Iowa State University)

Air Management Practices Assessment Tool

Publications and Research Reports

California Air Resources Board

Center for Agricultural Air Quality Engineering and Science (Texas A&M University)

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law (Columbia School of Law)

Regulation of Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)

Feedlot Air Emissions Treatment Cost Calculator (extension)

Georgia’s Clean Air Campaign

Legislative History of the Clean Air Act

Manure Management and Air Quality (University of Minnesota)

Mitigating Air Emissions from Animal Manure: Summaries of Innovative Technology (extension)

National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool

National Association of Clean Air Agencies


Purdue Agricultural Air Quality Laboratory (Purdue University)