‘Our Nation’s Air’ Report: U.S. Air Pollutant Emissions Fell 74 Percent Since 1970

Key U.S. air pollutant emissions continue to decline, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Our Nation’s Air report.

Combined emissions of six common pollutants dropped by 74 percent from 1970 through 2018, even as energy use and population increased, according to the report.

Perhaps even more impressive is that since 1970, when the Clean Air Act was passed, these emissions have declined while the U.S. economy grew by 275 percent and the American population, energy consumption and vehicle miles traveled all increased.


This incredible feat was accomplished in part through American innovation, which helped to make manufacturing and energy production more energy-efficient, as well as shale production, which is fueling a transition towards cleaner-burner natural gas.

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