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Important Conservation Laws of the 20th and 21st Centuries

  • Federal Water Pollution Control Act

    Federal Water Pollution Control Act
    The Federal Water Pollution act was a program that aimed at reducing or eliminating the amount of polluted water in interstate waters and tributaries and in surface and ground water. This act also recognized the need to set aside water for public use and helped build water treatment plants to prevent the amount of polluted water being dumped into interstate waters or tributaries.
  • o Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

    o	Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
    o The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act addressed the threats and harmfulness of pesticides on human health. This act created made it possible and mandatory to register pesticides with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as require accurate and informative labeling on pesticide products informing the buyers on the health threats involved with these products. This act did not regulate pesticide use.
  • National Air Pollution Control Act

    National Air Pollution Control Act
    The National Air Pollution Control Act was instated by the federal government and put the United States Surgeon in charge of doing research on air pollution and releasing the information to states on their findings. States were then in charge of using this information to decrease and control air pollution which was negatively affecting the health of the public.
  • Wilderness Act

    Wilderness Act
    The Wilderness Act created the National Wilderness Preservation system as well as the legal definition of what wilderness is. The main goal of this act was to preserve federal wilderness and make a system that would be used to define and identify wilderness. This act set aside 9.1 million acres of federal land. This is the acts definition of wilderness:
    “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the ear
  • o Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act

    o	Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act
    o The National Emissions Standards Act addressed harmful emissions that came from cars and had the possibility of causing cancer, birth/reproductive defects, or harm to the environment. It aimed to regulate and reduce vehicle emissions that were harmful to human health and welfare as well as create a standard for every vehicle to adhere to.
  • o Solid Waste Disposal Act

    o	Solid Waste Disposal Act
    o Solid Waste Disposal Act
    o 1965
    o The Solid Waste Disposal Act came into being during the early 1969’s when it was common practice to burn trash. It was one of many amendments to the Clean Air Act and the first time federal law was controlling and implementing non-harmful methods of waste disposal on both the domestic and public level.
  • o Water Quality Act

    o	Water Quality Act
    o The Water Quality Act put the responsibility of determining surface and ground water quality standards on the States. This act added focus to the quality of water for fishing and swimming whereas before, it was only on drinking water. The act requires plans for implementation of these standards. The federal government had to eventually interject because of the many waterways/sources that are shared between states and the lack of information linking pollution to polluter.
  • National Emissions Standards Act

    National Emissions Standards Act
    o The National Emissions Standards Act is an amendment to the Clean Air Act. It focuses on identifying and managing harmful emissions from stationary sources. Some believed that this responsibility should be addressed individually by each industry but this act set the national standard for stationary sources of air pollution.
  • o California Air Resources Board

    o	California Air Resources Board
    o The California Air Resources Board, also known as the “clean air agency.” It is the result of the amalgamation of the Bureau of Air Sanitation and the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Board. This board is devoted to protecting the maintaining the public’s exposure to air pollutants that are a possible threat to health, maintaining clean air as well as assisting in the implementation of clean air regulations.
  • o Air Quality Act (amendment to CAA)

    o	Air Quality Act (amendment to CAA)
    o The Air Quality Act is an amendment to the Clean Air Act and broadened the reach of the federal governments influence in identifying and maintaining solutions and sources of pollution. This act allowed the federal government to also perform studies investigations and management on a larger scale in and between states.
  • o Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act

    o	Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act
    o The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act is devoted to preserving the health of coal miners due to the severity of health problems associated with the profession. The act aims to maintain healthy and safe mining standards as well as educate those in the industry how to work safely. It also supports studies to improve training and implementations of said standards.
  • o National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    o	National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
    o The National Environmental requires that federal agencies take the environmental consequences of their planned actions into consideration in order to prevent damage to the environment and enhance its quality. The Council for Environmental Quality coordinates with these federal agencies to create and carry out environmental policies. These agencies are required to submit Environment Impact Statements to the EPA for review.
  • Clean Air Act

    Clean Air Act
    The Clean Air Act was a federal law that aimed at controlling air pollution. It allowed the EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). This act planned to achieve NAAQS as well as state implementation plans (SIPs) in all of the states by 1975 so certain air pollutants that were affecting the country on a larger scale could be controlled.
  • o Clean Air Act (Extension)

    o	Clean Air Act (Extension)
    o The Clean Air Act Extension created more rigorous pollution and regulation requirements for state and federal governments to uphold. This extension addressed both industrial and mobile sources of pollution and created 4 programs to monitor and control pollution. These programs are the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, State Implementation Plans, New Source Performance Standards and National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.
  • o Environmental Quality Improvement Act

    o	Environmental Quality Improvement Act
    o The Environmental Quality Improvement Act was created to increase the quality of the environment in the United States. This act created the Office of Environmental Quality. The act also made sure that all federal and public efforts that affect the environment abide by environmental laws. The sister act to this act is the National Environmental Policy Act.
  • o Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act

    o	Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act
    o Signed by Richard Nixon, the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act national standards for health and safety in the work place were set. This act furthered the federal governments reach into regulating the health and welfare of workers in the United States. The act came into being because of a long history of work-place deaths and injuries due to unsafe conditions.
  • o Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act

    o	Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act
    o The Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act came into being because of it’s toxic nature. Lead has a sweetness that is especially attractive to children and caused serious health problems and even deaths. This act restricted the use of lead-based paint in house built with federal money and greatly reduced lead-paint used everywhere else.
  • o Clean Water Act

    o	Clean Water Act
    o Stipulations of the Clean Water Act are enforced by the EPA through pollution control programs. They monitor and regulate the disposal of wastes into water as well as the quality of surface water. The act requires permits for dumping pollutants into navigable waters from point sources such as pipes or ditches.
  • o Endangered Species Act

    o	Endangered Species Act
    o The Endangered Species Act was established to protect the valuable wildlife and ecosystems of this country. It created the system for declaring species threatened or endangered. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service manage and enforce regulations in this realm. The FWS focuses on terrestrial as well as freshwater organisms while the NMFS focuses on marine wildlife.
  • o Safe Drinking Water Act

    o	Safe Drinking Water Act
    o The Safe Drinking Water Act monitors and regulates drinking water from both above and underground sources. It targets any water that can be or is used for drinking purposes and sets minimum standards for all public and private distributors to comply with to maintain high quality, healthy drinking water for public consumption.
  • o Hazardous Materials Transportation Act

    o	Hazardous Materials Transportation Act
    o The Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA) was created in order to provide safer standards for transporting substances that could potentially be a detriment to safety or property. These standards are enforced and regulated by the Secretary of Transportation. Hazardous material transportation is divided into four main categories: Material Designations, Operational Rules, Procedures and/or Policies, and Packaging Requirements.
  • o Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

    o	Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
    o The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is a system of registration that keeps track of hazardous materials from when they are created to when they are disposed of. The EPA is in charge of regulating this initiative and monitors such factors such as creation, processing, storage and disposal of dangerous wastes.
  • o Toxic Substances Control Act

    o	Toxic Substances Control Act
    o The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) provides a system for closely monitoring chemical substances. The stipulations of this system are enforced and monitored by the EPA and include record keeping, processing requirements and restrictions of chemical substances. Substances such as food and drugs are not included under this act while substances such as lead paint and asbestos are.
  • o Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act

    o	Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
    o The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act was created to address issues associated with monitoring active mines, reclaiming abandoned mines and protecting people and the environment from the harmful repercussions associated with mining. The two departments within this act deal with the regulation of active mines and the reclamation of abandoned mines.
  • o National Energy Conservation Policy Act

    o	National Energy Conservation Policy Act
    o The National Energy Conservation Policy Act converted the optional energy standards proposed in the Energy Policy and Conservation act of 1975 to mandatory standards called Minimum Energy Performance Standards. This act deals with residential energy conservation plans as well as reduction of nonrenewable energy use. This program also provides monetary assistance to those who desire to utilize energy conserving techniques.
  • o Fish And Wildlife Conservation Act

    o	Fish And Wildlife Conservation Act
    o The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act was enacted to help the States create, edit, and use plans for conserving nongame fish wildlife. This act allotted the states five million dollars each fiscal year from 1982 to 1985 to be used for funding and to put these conservation plans into effect. Through this act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were to determine possible plans for funding these plans and present them to Congress by March 1984.
  • o Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

    o	Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
    o The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known as Superfund, is authorized by the EPA which allocates responsibility for the cleanup of hazardous wastes. If a party at fault cannot be identified, the EPA can create a trust fund directed to the cleanup of the site. From this act came the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
  • o Nuclear Waste Policy Act

    o	Nuclear Waste Policy Act
    o The Nuclear Waste Act allows the dumping of nuclear wastes into deep, geological repositories. Once a possible dumping site is identified, the Department of Energy needs to be given the authorization to operate by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC determines if the DOE meets the required standards set by the EPA.
  • o Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)

    o	Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA)
    o The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act was created to help communities plan for disasters involving hazardous materials. Standards set by this act are set in place to inform the community of proper safety procedures in the event of an emergency. The act also helps people understand and have access to information about what chemicals are stored and transported in their community.
  • o Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA)

    o	Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA)
    o The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act is an amendment of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980. The revision extended the CERCLA as well as expanded on resources for management (clean-up, policy enforcement, quality standards and threat to health of humans/environment) and ranking of materials that are dangerous to human health and the environment.
  • o Montreal Protocol

    o	Montreal Protocol
    o The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international agreement devoted to stopping further depletion of the ozone layer by substances such as CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform. These substances deplete the ozone which protects the earth from UV-B radiation which is extremely harmful to human health. The agreement stipulated that usage of these substances be eliminated by the year 2000.
  • o Basel Convention

    o	Basel Convention
    o The Basel Convention came from the United Nations Environment Program in 1989 and was put into effect in 1992. This agreement deals with the transportation of hazardous wastes into and out of the country and puts the parties involved legally responsible for such activities. Before export, the party involved must make sure that the hazardous materials will be handled safely according to set guidelines.
  • o North America Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act

    o	North America Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
    o The North America Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act is an agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States that removes barriers to trade based on a set of rules between said parties. Environmental and labor concerns were also a part of the considerations in the free-trade among these three countries.
  • o Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice

    o	Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice
    o The Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations addresses the environmental and human health effects that result from federal activities in minority and poor populations. The main reason this order was created was to create equal environmental protection for all types of communities no matter what race or income.
  • o Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act

    o	Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act
    o The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act was put in place to protect renters/home buyers from the dangers of lead-based paint. Many homes built prior to 1978 have lead-based paint and so this act requires that buyers/renters be informed of the dangers associated with lead-based paint before they make a commitment to the property/house. This act also gives home buyers the opportunity to request that landlords/sellers arranged for to have their home inspected.
  • o Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21)

    o	Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21)
    o The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) was enacted as public law that supports programs dealing with highways, highway safety, and transit between 1998 and 2003. This act deals with transportation efficiency, safety, accessibility, energy conservation, quality of life, connectivity, and preservation of systems of transportation already set in place.
  • California AB 1493

    California AB 1493
    The California Assembly Bill 1493 targets harmful greenhouse emissions from passenger vehicles. The bill poses regulatory standards on the amount of emissions that cars made starting in the year 2009 and on can exude. The goal of this bill is to reduce of slow down the effects of global warming caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gasses from vehicles.
  • o Kyoto Protocol

    o	Kyoto Protocol
    o The Kyoto Protocol was formed at an international conference in Kyoto. It’s goal is to globally decrease the amount harmful emissions of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere. These gases include nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, methane, HFCs, sulfur hexafluoride and PFCs. Based on the total emissions from 1990, the goal of the agreement is to reduce these emissions by 5.2%.
  • o Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA)

    o	Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA)
    o The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA) is a bill that began on August 10, 2005 and expired September 30, 2009. It was renewed a total of ten times after this date and became a bill in 2012 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act). This bill funds the building and maintenance of transportation systems in the U.S. These transportation systems include freeways, bike lanes, sidewalks, train rails, etc.
  • o Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA)

    o	Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA)
    o The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) is devoted to achieving energy independence. Its goals include developing energy security, renewable and environmentally sound sources of energy, and consumer safety. Other goals include increasing the efficiency of energy utilized in buildings, transportation and products we use, continuing to pursue research in methods for containing greenhouse gasses, and increasing energy efficiency in the Federal Government the fuel economy.