Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act of 1965, United States

caption Photo: Environment Law Centre, University of Victoria.

United States Congress passed the Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act in 1965, allowing the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to establish the first federally mandated emission standards on light-duty vehicles. These new standards came into affect with all 1968 models and called for reductions of several 1963-base emissions. The Act called for a 72% reduction of hydrocarbons, 56% reduction of carbon monoxide, and a 100% reduction of crankcase hydrocarbons. It established the National Air Pollution Control Administration (NAPCA), which became responsible for future pollution control efforts. The Secretaries modeled the new national standards after Californian standards, which came into effect in 1966. In addition to establishing national standards, the Act also initiated the coordination of pollution control between the United States, Canada, and Mexico in an effort to decrease overall emissions. Research into vehicle emissions of sulfur dioxide was carried out in an effort to achieve emission reductions while keeping automobile prices low. The Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act of 1965 would later be amended with the Clean Air Act of 1970.

Further Reading



Kubiszewski, I. (2008). Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act of 1965, United States. Retrieved from


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