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					                    Important Environmental Acts & Treaties

   Act/Law            Year                              Key Points

                             Requires EPA to set and enforce rules regarding:
                                --mobile source limits (cars)
                                --ambient air quality standards
                                --hazardous air pollutant discharge standards (what can
                                   come out of smokestacks)
 Clean Air Act        1970
                                --standards for new pollution sources
                                --acid rain reduction
                                --ozone depletion protection

                               EPA works with areas that don’t attain clean air standards.

 Wild & Scenic                  Restricts development along rivers with important scenic,
                      1968
  Rivers Act                          recreational, fish and wildlife, or other values.



 Safe Drinking                Established a federal program to control and monitor pollutant
                      1974
  Water Act                    levels in public drinking water supplies. Overseen by EPA.


                             Regulates and enforces program for discharges into US waters;
Clean Water Act
                      1972   Regulates wetland destruction/construction; establishes sewage
    (1972)
                                        treatment construction grants program.

                              Made it unlawful for any person to dump, or transport for the
Ocean Dumping
                      1972    purpose of dumping, sewage sludge or industrial wastes into
     Act
                                                     ocean waters.

                               Created greatly in response to Exxon Valdez oil spill. Makes
                              party responsible for spill pay for clean up. Established a trust
Oil Pollution Act     1990
                                fund (financed by a tax on oil) available to clean up spills if
                                company cannot pay. Mandates spill clean up procedures.

                                  Regulates the handling of wastes from “cradle to grave”;
                              establishes rules for the handling of such waste from the time it
                             is generated, while it is packaged, stored, while it is transported,
                                 and how it is disposed, and the disposal sites themselves.
  Resource
Conservation &               Major areas of regulation include:
                      1976
 Recovery Act                     --landfills
   (RCRA)                         --underground storage tanks
                                  --hazardous waste disposal
                                  --transportation manifests
                                  --permits to possess, treat, or dispose waste
                                  --recordkeeping and reporting
Comprehensive            EPA locates dumps and sets priorities of worst sites, known as
 Environmental               National Priority List; includes mining sites, nuclear sites,
  Response,              military sites, and industrial sites. Sets up guidelines on how to
                  1980
Compensation &           clean up sites. The polluter is required to pay for the cleanup.
  Liability Act           Set up a fund to clean up abandoned hazardous waste sites,
  (CERCLA)                   where polluters cannot be identified or are unable to pay.


  Low-Level
                           All states are responsible for the low-level radioactive waste
  Radioactive     1980
                                                  they generate.
   Policy Act

                           Established both the Federal government’s responsibility to
Nuclear Waste                provide a place for the permanent disposal of high-level
                  1982
  Policy Act              radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, and the generators’
                              responsibility to bear the costs of permanent disposal.

    Federal
  Insecticide,              Governs pesticide use: amount and locations; Creates a
   Fungicide,     1947    pesticide registry—bans some; Food and Drug Administration
Rodenticide Act                                also administers.
    (FIFRA)


                            Amended the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act of 1938 and
                                                  FIFRA.

 Food Quality                 Established pesticide residue limits for raw produce and
                  1996
 Protection Act             processed foods; the increased susceptibility of infants and
                           children are considered in the established limits; reduced the
                          time it takes to ban a pesticide considered dangerous from 10
                                                years to 14 months.


 Convention on
  International          An international agreement between governments that ensured
    Trade in      1975   that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants
  Endangered                               do not threaten their survival.
Species (CITES)


                         Prohibits the commerce or harm (including destroying habitat) of
  Endangered
                  1973    species of fish, wildlife, and plants that are listed as threatened
  Species Act
                                       or endangered in the US or elsewhere.


                         Amendment to ESA that allows landowners to “take” (injure, kill,
   Habitat
                          or modify the habitat of) a rare species of the “taking” doesn’t
 Conservation     1982
                              threaten the survival or recovery of the threatened or
    Plans
                                      endangered species on that property.
  Magnuson
   Fishery
                  1976    Governed the conservation and management of ocean fishing
Conservation &
Management Act


    Marine
                         Established a federal responsibility to protect marine mammals
   Mammals        1972
                         from falling below their optimum sustainable population levels
 Protection Act


                           Created the Council on Environmental Quality that resulted in
    National              the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It
 Environmental    1970      also mandates that federal agencies prepare environmental
   Policy Act            impact statements (EIS’s). Only paperwork and research need
                                  to be completed; no other activities mandated.

                                 Required by NEPA to accompany every federal
                                  recommendation or proposal for legislation.
 Environmental
                         Must Include:
    Impact        1970
                         --The nature of the proposal and why it is needed
  Statements
                         --The environmental impacts of the proposal (including short-
                         term and long-term effects)
                         --Alternatives to lessen the adverse effects

                           Required participating countries to cut their greenhouse gas
Kyoto Protocol    1997
                                        emissions. US has not ratified it.


   Montreal                   Cut the emissions of CFCs and other ozone-depleting
                  1978
   Protocol                          chemicals that damage the ozone layer.


                           First environmental act to promote source reduction (stop
   Pollution
                  1990   pollution from being produced). EPA tests products and works
Prevention Act
                                     with companies mostly on voluntary basis.

                          Established a program for regulating surface coal mining and
Surface Mining             reclamation activities. Established mandatory standards for
   Control &      1977        these activities on state and federal lands, including a
Reclamation Act           requirement that adverse impacts on fish, wildlife, and related
                                      environmental values be minimized.

                         Established a review of road-free areas of 5,000 acres or more
                         and islands within the National Wildlife Refuges or the National
Wilderness Act    1964
                         Park System for inclusion in the National Preservation System.
                                       Restricted activities in these areas.
   General                 Gave the president the authority to establish forest reserves on
                    1891
  Revision Act                             public (federally owned) land




                            Give the president the authority to create national monuments
 Antiquities Act    1906
                             at sites that had scientific, historic, or prehistoric importance



                           Established the soil conservation service, which deals with soil
     Soil
                    1935   erosion problems, carries out soil surveys, and does research
Conservation Act
                                                   on soil salinity.

 Farm Bill (aka            Requires farmers with highly erodible land to develop and adopt
 Food Security             a 5 year conservation plan for their farms that includes erosion-
 Act) (Including             control measures. CRP is a voluntary subsidy program that
                    1985
 Conservation                  pays farmers to stop producing crops on highly erodible
    Reserve                 farmland. Requires the planting of native grasses or trees on
   Program)                       land and then retire it from use for 10 to 15 years.
Madrid Protocol
(Environmental
   Protection       1990     Moratorium on mineral exploration for 50 years in Antarctica
 Protocol to the
Antarctic Treaty)
    National
   Appliance
                            Set minimum efficiency standards for numerous categories of
    Energy          1987
                                                    appliances.
Conservation Act
   (NAECA)
                            A landowners sells some or all ownership rights, such as the
 Forest Legacy               right to develop the land, to the US government, which then
    Program                holds a conservation easement, a legal agreement that protects
                    1990
  (provision of            privately owned forest or other property from development for a
   Farm Bill)                specified number of years. The landowner continues to live
                                                and/or work on the land.

Food, Drug, and              Assures the safety, wholesomeness, efficacy, and truthful
 Cosmetics Act      1938   packaging and labeling of food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical
   (FDCA)                                             devices.

  Pesticide
  Chemicals
 Amendment                  Required the establishment of acceptable and unacceptable
                    1954
   (Miller                                  levels of pesticides in food.
Amendment) of
   FDCA
Delaney Clause           Stated that no substance capable of causing cancer in test
                 1958
   of FDCA              animals or in humans would be permitted in processed food.



 Food Safety
Modernization    2011
    Act



                          Allows countries to export hazardous waste only with prior
   Basel
                 1989   informed consent of importing country and any country wastes
 Convention
                                                pass through.

				
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