Air Pollution: Rising Threat

April 26, 1967

Report Outline
New Spurt in Drive for Cleaner Air
Critical Nature of Pollution Problem
Measures to Curb Pollution of the Air

New Spurt in Drive for Cleaner Air

Gathering of Forces to Combat Air Pollution

A national attack on the least tolerable by-product of civilized life—dirty air—received major impetus on April 21 when President Johnson ordered a “greatly accelerated” research effort to discover new methods of reducing air pollution. At the same time, he called for still higher levels of spending in the already augmented air pollution control budgets for 1967 and 1968. Government sources attributed the President's action in part to growing public support of vigorous anti-pollution programs now under way in the most seriously affected areas of the nation. “The control of air pollution is a matter of highest priority,” the President said in his public memorandum to H.E.W. Secretary John W. Gardner, “and I intend to continue the battle for clean air with all the resources at my disposal.”

Pollution of the air has been recognized as a rising health hazard for at least two decades. But it is only within the past year that signs of a major push, comparable on a national scale to the pioneering anti-pollution activities undertaken in California, have emerged: (1) The big cities are getting tougher with the polluters; (2) states are entering the control picture more forcefully and in greater numbers; (3) recently authorized federal programs are moving into the action stage; and (4) the first steps directed toward effective regional and interstate control have been taken.

The federal requirement that all 1968 models of automobiles be designed or equipped to reduce air-contaminating emissions—a rule expected to add from $20 to $55 to the price of each car—will bring home to most Americans the national aspect of the clean air crusade. In the same way, a multiplication of bans on backyard trash-burning is making average householders feel the toughening arm of local air pollution authorities.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Air Pollution
Nov. 13, 2015  Air Pollution and Climate Change
Nov. 14, 2003  Air Pollution Conflict
Jan. 26, 2001  Global Warming Treaty
Mar. 07, 1997  New Air Quality Standards
Nov. 01, 1996  Global Warming
Oct. 27, 1995  Indoor Air Pollution
Apr. 03, 1992  Ozone Depletion
Mar. 08, 1991  Acid Rain: New Approach to Old Problem
Nov. 27, 1987  Air Pollution Countdown
Apr. 10, 1987  Ozone Mystery
Mar. 07, 1986  Acid Rain
Oct. 16, 1981  Wood Fuel's Developing Market
Nov. 21, 1980  Air Pollution Control: Progress and Prospects
Jun. 20, 1980  Acid Rain
Mar. 19, 1976  Ozone Controversy
Apr. 26, 1967  Air Pollution: Rising Threat
Jan. 08, 1964  Air Contamination
Jan. 14, 1959  Cleaner Air
Apr. 06, 1955  Poisoned Air
Aug. 26, 1949  Air Pollution
Air Pollution
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations