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Want Cleaner Air? Simplify the Clean Air Act

October 1, 2012

Is your life too busy?  Are you having problems getting everything done?    As counterintuitive as this might seem, one of the easiest ways to get more done is to try to do less.  Reduce the clutter.  Simplify.

Works the same way with the Clean Air Act.  Want the Clean Air Act to do more?  Just need to reduce the clutter.  Simplify.

Comments on the Complexity of the Clean Air Act

  • “The Clean Air Act is a lengthy and complex federal law” –Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • “The federal Clean Air Act (CAA) alone has been referred to as the most complicated statute in history. The statutory complexity is compounded by the thousands of pages of federal regulations and the overlapping statutes and regulations adopted by each individual state.” –Erich Brich writing for the American Bar Association
  • “The Clean Air Act – one of the most complex and extensive pieces of federal environmental legislation.” –Center on Congress—Indiana University
  • “The Clean Air Act is complicated and contentious”. —Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
  • “I hate that each sector has 17 to 20 rules that govern each piece of equipment and you’ve got to be a neuroscientist to figure it out”. –Gina McCarthy, U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator for Air
  • “The Clean Air Act (CAA) is a comprehensive and complex piece of environmental legislation”. – NASDA
  • “The law is long and complicated”. —Andrew Restuccia
  • “The statute and its regulatory offshoots are very complicated.”  —U.S. Department of Justice

Comments on Simplicity

  • “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”  —-Hans Hofmann
  • “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” ― Leo Tolstoy
  • “Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” – Isaac Newton
  • “The simplest things are often the truest.” — Richard Bach

Probably the greatest opportunities for reducing pollution under the Clean Air Act actually lie in simplifying the Act.  Eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary can speak.

Time to transform the SIP process.  We can make it happen.

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