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The Air Pollution in the United States and Kenya

Pollution has been and is still a major problem in the world. There are different types of pollution, which are water and air pollution. Air pollution includes different types of poisonous gases that change the characteristic of air. The United States and Kenya are affected by pollution; for example, in New York City and Nairobi where there is traffic noise and emission from vehicles, sewage overflows, plastic bottles and bags. Even though both cities are affected by pollution, the methods applied in managing and handling air pollution are different.

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Despite pollution being a major issue in the world, the United States has greatly improved after the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (Clean Air Act Amendments 1990). United States Environmental Protection Agency (2017) stated that “The Clean Air Act (CAA) is the comprehensive federal law that regulates air emissions from stationary and mobile sources”. The CAA enables the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) to establish “National Ambient Air Quality Standards” (NAAQS) that develops mitigation policies or issue guidelines to help protect the environment and the people from harmful air pollution. According to Collete (2011) and Parrish (2011), there is a decrease in outdoor concentrations of air pollutants in America because of implementation of mitigation policies, legislative effort and by use of control technologies (cited by Emami, Masiol, and Hopke, 2018); however, in Kenya there is no improvement in the quality of air because there are no mitigations policies, zero legislative efforts and no agency to help in reducing air pollution.

The increasing of the world population has led to increase in urbanization. Human and environmental issues have been threatened due to urban pollution. Consequently, urban pollution has received greater attention (Gurjar, et al., 2008). New York City experiences both human and vehicle pollution just as Nairobi that has led to emissions from the vehicles into the air, which has impact on the health of the people. The population of New York at 2016 was estimated at 8,537,673 (NYC Planning, 2016), while in Nairobi, a growing city in Africa, had a population of 3.2 million and during the day the population is at 4.2 (Kinney, et al., 2011). Urbanization has led to the use of motor vehicle as mean of transport. In New York, they have introduced mitigation policies such as toll on roads and use of cleaner fuel which has helped in reducing air pollution; nevertheless, air pollution is a major threat to the world.

In conclusion, pollution remains a major problem in both the United States and Kenya. However, in managing the pollution, the United States and Kenya apply different strategies. The major difference between both countries is that the United States has the Environmental Protection Agency which mainly focuses on environmental issues while in Kenya there is no agency that deals with pollution.  Despite regulation, policies and new technology has been introduced to curb air pollution, this problem is still a major threat to nature and human.

 

Word count; 486

References

Congress.Gov. (1990). S 1630 Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/101st-congress/senate-bill/1630

Emami, F., Masiol, M., & Hopke, P. K. (2018). Air pollution at Rochester, NY: Long-term trends and multivariate analysis of upwind SO2 source impacts. Science of The Total Environment, 612, 1506-1515.

Fenger, J. (2009), Air pollution in the last 50 years—from local to global. Atmospheric Environment, 43, 13-22.

Gurjar, B. R., Butler, T. M., Lawrence, M. G., & Lelieveld, J. (2008). Evaluation of emissions and air quality in megacities. Atmospheric Environment, 42(7), 1593-1606.

Kinney, P. L., Gichuru, M. G., Volavka-Close, N., Ngo, N., Ndiba, P. K., Law, A., … & Sclar, E. (2011). Traffic impacts on PM2. 5 air quality in Nairobi, Kenya. Environmental Science & Policy, 14(4), 369-378.

NYC Planning. (2016). Current estimates of New York’s city population for July 2016. Retrieved from https://www1.nyc.gov/site/planning/data-maps/nyc-population/current-future-populations.page

United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2017, August).  Summary of the Clean Air Act. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-clean-air-act.

World Health Organization. (n.d.). What is air pollution. Retrieved from http://www.searo.who.int/topics/air_pollution/what-is-air-pollution.pdf?ua=1

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