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Policy Paper

Environmental health policy evolution in the United States: Can the passage of the Clean Air Act (1970) inform the Green New Deal (2019)?

Author:

Fiona Mortell

GB
About Fiona

MSc Public Health
Class of 2019
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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Abstract

This research seeks to understand the political and
social circumstances that predicate health policies to
either pass through the US policy process and become
law or remain gridlocked.
Introduction: Provides insight into the only
comprehensive federal climate policy proposal, the Green
New Deal, as well as the Clean Air Act, a previous federal
health policy that has largely succeeded in creating
positive impact.


Methods: Philosophical and sociopolitical concepts
relevant to health policymaking and agenda-setting are
applied with John Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Framework
to critically analyze the policy environments that enabled
the Clean Air Act and are currently stalling the Green New
Deal.


Results: The positive effects of the Clean Air Act
have likely complicated the current battle against
climate change. The clean air act reduced visible smog
and observable air pollution in America but was unable
to tackle pollution less obvious to the eye; helping only
people who were wealthy enough to live far away from
areas with high pollution. The gradual drift of climate
issues onto the policy agenda has surged since the
conception of the Green New Deal but not enough to
overcome political opposition and catalyze federal climate
reform within US governance.

How to Cite: Mortell, F., 2020. Environmental health policy evolution in the United States: Can the passage of the Clean Air Act (1970) inform the Green New Deal (2019)?. The Public Sphere: Journal of Public Policy, 8(1).
Published on 20 Mar 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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