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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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