Though air pollution control is an ancient problem, the demand for regulatory measures became emphatic during the last decades of the 19th century. United Nation Conference on Environment and Development of 1992 in Rio De Janeiro did set the pace for the later emphasis and control. This convention's main outcome, Agenda 21, called for formation of the later Kyoto protocol to set standards on the emissions reduction strategies. The United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC) later formed the operational platform for the Kyoto Protocol.
This protocol is the main icon for government’s regulations on emissions by setting reduction targets by the year 2008-2012 of 5. 6%. According to Article 2 of the UNFCC, the main role of the Kyoto protocol is to stabilize the emissions at levels that do not have negative effects to the natural systems and the human beings (UNEP, 2002). However, the protocol was considered highly controversial with many countries like US claiming that it would be a downward pointing operation for closing of industries and losing jobs. ? Local considerations for the control strategies
In US, environmental protection is directly undertaken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is responsible for establishing the standards of the best air and other natural systems quality by conducting research (Boons and Berends, 2001). It is also supposed to determine the natural effects that results from environmental injustices in the country. Operations of EPA are directly based on the US Clean Air Act which provides for the methods to be employed in ensuring that emissions are maintained at the ecosystems and human tolerable limits with no effects.
(a) Use of Marketable Emissions Permits This is a major system that is employed by the US government in ensuring that companies are fully compliant with the established rules. Part A of Title II in the Clean Air Act gives the expected standards that companies are supposed to meet before they are given the operations permit. EPA has established effective mechanisms of assessing the overall average emissions from the machinery systems of companies. Besides, it is a requirement by the government that all the emissions released be recorded and reports submitted to EPA.
Exceeding the required limits results to denial of operating permits as provided for by Title IV of the Clean Air Act (Andrews, 2009). (b) Application of polluter pays principle and emission charge system This is a punitive measure applied by many governments to force companies and organizations that have negative effects to the environment meet the cost of correcting the damage done. According to Clean Air Act, it is a indicated in Title 1, Part D that non-compliance and continued emission is a criminal offense.
Currently, Shell Oil Company is having several cases in court due to breaking of the established standards for the emissions released into the atmosphere. It also paid US $ 5. 8 million to the Texas pollution affected people as a penalty to address the resultant problem. However, economists have increasingly cried foul claiming that the principle has been oppressive and the fines do not often get to addressing the problem caused (Mouawad, 2009). (c) Use of precautionary system with pre-analysis audits
Due to the fast rising concerns and effects that threaten to blow out of proportions, the Government through EPA has established a system of pre-analysis of the business projects to determine their possible emission types and effects they would have to the natural systems and the people. Therefore, Environmental Impact Assessment involves a precautionary systematic forward application in which control measures are established to reduce and prevent emissions from getting into the atmosphere.
Using this system, the government is able to extend the measures of reducing the emissions such as those of carbon oxides via use of the natural systems like afforestation in the neighborhoods and nationally too. EPA has established regional laws and regulations that suites and fits various industrial establishments and also assists them in compliance by offering support services for adherence.