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Environmental Law Explored

SEER Essentials: Clean Air Act Basics — The Montreal Protocol and Title VI, a Success Story

Matt Oakes

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In 1990, Congress amended the Clean Air Act with Title VI, with provisions for protecting the ozone layer. In this program David Doniger and host Matt Oakes discuss the history and successful implementation of Title VI and the Montreal Protocol.

The sun emits radiation, including harmful ultraviolet radiation. The ozone layer absorbs a portion of the sun’s radiation, preventing it from reaching the planet's surface. In 1985, scientists discovered a hole in the ozone shield over Antarctica. This discovery led to an international convention that laid the groundwork for the Montreal Protocol. The Montreal Protocol is designed to reduce the consumption and production of substances harmful to the ozone layer. The United States implemented the Montreal Protocol by passing Title VI of the Clean Air Act. Title VI uses market-based mechanisms to phase out production of ozone-depleting substances. Because of the Montreal Protocol and laws such as CAA Title VI, concentrations of ozone-depleting gases in the atmosphere have significantly declined. Our guest David Doniger helped to formulate the Montreal Protocol and relevant Clean Air Act amendments. This podcast will focus on the story behind the legal response to the ozone hole.