1 Day (can be extended to another half day.)
1. Ask students who is responsible for keeping air clean.
Can they name the levels of government involved? What
about agencies? Tell students urban air pollution and
its health hazards are the shared responsibility of government,
community organizations, and citizens, and cities and
their states have passed laws combating the problem.
For example, some limit car ownership or passed stricter
air quality regulations for factories. New York and Washington
D.C. have tried to rebuild their infrastructure with
a rapid transport system. The state of Maine has several
programs reducing emissions of air toxic compounds from
mobile sources. One program is their Clean Government
Initiative in which the Maine state legislature directed
state agencies to purchase alternative use vehicles,
highly fuel efficient vehicles, and vehicles with the
lowest emissions possible. This initiative also promotes
travel alternatives, such as telecommuting.
Teacher directs students to research and explain a legislative
effort/law in their state or city which helps
improve the environmental health effects of air pollution.
They can search online or you provide them with information
and ask them to explain it in simple terms to their
Have students consider the following main focus categories
of state or local legislation:
a. Commercial plants
b. Industrial factories
c. Residential areas/homes
d. Public education
e. Open space plans
f. Transportation methods and/or emission standards
After 30 minutes, instruct students to find someone
who has a different law and can explain to them the
legislation writing down the law on the other student’s
As a class, the teacher asks students to review their
notes and determine which category has
strictest air quality legislation and which category
Have students work in groups developing two air pollution
scenarios as peer presentations to figure out what
the air pollution violation is
should respond. One scenario should be quite straightforward and the
other more complex.
If needed, students can continue more
research at home.