Pollution whose source originates directly from industry is known as industrial pollution. After the Industrial Revolution, manufacturing and technology made advances, which resulted in more factories and more industry. These factories emitted smoke into the air. The effects of the smoke, along with the pollution that industries caused to water and even the land beneath and around the factories were becoming obvious. Industrial pollution was also pointed out as a major factor in wildlife extinction and eventually, even global warming. The global environment, even areas that are not industrial, have been impacted. Arctic and Antarctic ice samples have been shown to have high levels of pollutants, demonstrating the great distances that pollutants can travel. It became clear that environmental degradation was happening as a direct result of industrial pollution and something needed to be done.
The Clean Air Act in 1963 had the United States federal law looking to the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and enforce regulations that would protect its citizens from airborne pollutants that are known to cause health issues to humans. Several amendments in more recent years have expanded the Act to address ozone depletion and acid rain, among others. With its introduction in 1972, the Clean Water Act (CWA) was put in place to maintain or restore the nation’s waters by preventing pollution sources. With the adoption of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, the United States focused its policy on reducing or preventing pollution at the source.