Us

Major Conservation Laws in the United States

By SandyLy
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act - FIFRA (1947)

    Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act - FIFRA (1947)
    This act established the procedures necessary for registering pesticides within the United States. It was passed so that all pesticides used in the United States must be registered by the Environmental Protection Agency so that it can be ensured that it will not cause unreasonable harm to the environment. FIFRA provides federal control of pesticide distribution, sale, and usage so that each registered pesticide is consistent with proper the proper use that is provided on the labeling.
  • Federal Water Pollution Control Act (1948)

    Federal Water Pollution Control Act (1948)
    This act was passed in 1948 and was the first major U.S. law to address water pollution. It was not until 1972 when it was reorganized and expanded to what is now known as the Clean Water Act. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act was initially established to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological reliability of the water being used. It also assisted in the publicly owned treatment works to improve wastewater treatment and to maintain the stability of wetlands.
  • National Air Pollution Control Act

    National Air Pollution Control Act
    The National Air Pollution Control Act of 1955 was the first federal air pollution law enacted in the United States. Although the act had minor impact to prevent air pollution, it made the government aware that the problem existed on the national level. This act provided the research and technical assistance needed to enable the control of air pollution at its source.
  • National Emissions Standards Act (1955)

    National Emissions Standards Act (1955)
    The National Emissions Standards Act was originally known as the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Act. This act represents an evolving framework where automobile pollution has been regulated. It led to emission reductions and the positive effects of this progress have been somewhat limited by an increase in the number of vehicles on the nation's roads. Also, the rise in larger vehicles such as SUVs that emit higher volumes of pollution has limited this act.
  • Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act (1955)

    Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control Act (1955)
    This act reinforces the regulation of automobile pollution. It establishes a national automobile pollution standard based on human health and welfare. To aid in human health and welfare, this act called for a 72% reduction of hydrocarbons, 56% reduction of carbon monoxide, and 100% reduction of crankcase hydrocarbons. These standards were put into effect starting with all 1968 vehicle models.
  • Clean Air Act - CAA (1963)

    Clean Air Act - CAA (1963)
    The Clean Air Act of 1963 was the first federal legislation regarding the control of air pollution. This act was established to fund for the study and cleanup of air pollution. Unfortunately, there was no federal response to address air pollution until the Congress passed a stronger Clean Air Act in 1970. In 1970, the Congress also created the Environmental Protection Agency and gave them the responsibility for a variety of Clean Air Act programs to reduce air pollution nationwide.
  • Wilderness Act (1964)

    Wilderness Act (1964)
    The Wilderness Act was signed in 1964 to maintain and protect the natural environment of wildlife from any damage that may be caused by mankind. It prohibits permanent roads and commercial enterprises that affects natural environment to preserve the ecological, geological, and other features of scientific, educational, scenic, and historical value of the wilderness. This is important because it provides a habitat for wildlife and plants, especially those that are endangered and threatened.
  • Water Quality Act (1965)

    Water Quality Act (1965)
    In the 1960s, there were growing concerns over water pollution, especially the dumping of municipal sewage. Therefore, this act was signed by President Johnson to provide funds for wastewater treatment demonstration projects at the municipal level. The goal was to prevent water pollution by requiring states to establish and enforce water quality standards for interstate waterways.
  • Solid Waste Disposal Act - SWDA (1965)

    Solid Waste Disposal Act - SWDA (1965)
    This act was an attempt to address the solid waste problems confronting the nation through a series of research projects, investigations, experiments, trainings, demonstrations, surveys, and studies. Unfortunately, the SWDA later showed that it did not resolve the growing mountain of waste disposal issues that the country was facing, so amendments were made to improve the act, which later became the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976.
  • Air Quality Act - amendment to CAA (1967)

    Air Quality Act - amendment to CAA (1967)
    The Air Quality Act is also known as the clean air act, which is a comprehensive Federal Law that regulates all sources of air emissions. The amendment was passed to set more rigorous requirements for reducing emissions in areas that do not meet the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). Therefore, the state was directed to develop State Implementation Plans, which consists of emission reduction strategies, with the goal of achieving the NAAQS legislation.
  • California Air Resources Board-CARB (1967)

    California Air Resources Board-CARB (1967)
    Although the first meeting of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) was held on February 8, 1968, it was established in 1967 when President Reagan signed the Mulford-Carrell Act. CARB is a department within the cabinet-level California Environmental Protection Agency that monitors air quality and conduct research into the causes and solutions to air pollution. The main goal is to provide safe clean air to Californians and to reduce California’s Emission of greenhouse gases.
  • Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act (1969)

    Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act (1969)
    Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act was established to create mandatory standards to protect the health and safety of the nation's coal miners. It provides training programs aimed to prevent coal mine accidents and occupational caused diseases in the industry. In addition, Congress declared that the existence of unsafe and unhealthful conditions and practices in the nation's coal mines is a serious barrier to the future growth of the coal mining industry and cannot be tolerated.
  • National Environmental Policy Act - NEPA (1970)

    National Environmental Policy Act - NEPA (1970)
    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law on January 1, 1970. The act established national environmental policy and goals for the protection, maintenance, and enhancement of the environment. It provides a process for implementing these goals within the federal agencies. The policy required the federal government to use all practicable means to create and maintain healthy conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.
  • Environmental Quality Improvement Act (1970)

    Environmental Quality Improvement Act (1970)
    The Environmental Quality Improvement Act was established to control environmental pollution, water and land resources, transportation, and economic and regional development. According to congressional findings, the changes in the environment are caused by human. In addition, population increases and urban concentration contribute directly to pollution and the degradation of our environment. Therefore, this act assists in improving the environment.
  • Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act - OSHA (1970)

    Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act - OSHA (1970)
    OSHA was created to assure the safety and health of workers in the working conditions by setting a strict standard that all businesses must adhere to. It enforces standards that provides training, outreach, education, and assistance to protect the rights and safety of workers. The goal is to prevent workplace injuries and deaths that holds employers accountable for safe workplaces.
  • Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (1971)

    Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (1971)
    Paint and other coating materials having a lead content greater than 0.06% are banned as items of commerce. Due to the dangers of lead and lead-based paint, this act authorized grants to carry out testing programs to detect the presence of and to eliminate any form of lead-based paint from surfaces of residential structures that are reachable to children. It provides methods for lead-based paint removal and to prohibit future use of lead-based paint in Federal or federally assisted buildings.
  • Clean Water Act (1972)

    Clean Water Act (1972)
    Once was called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (1948) was reorganized and expanded in 1972 to the Clean Water Act due to the growing public awareness and concern for controlling water pollution. This act was established to ensure the safety of drinking water, maintenance/restoration of oceans, protection of human health, and provides a healthy habitat for sea animals, plants, and wildlife. This made it unlawful to discharge any pollutants into water sources unless a permit was obtained.
  • Endangered Species Act (1973)

    Endangered Species Act (1973)
    The Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Nixon to prevent extinction, recover imperiled plants and animals, and to protect the ecosystem that they depend on. The main point of this act is to recover these endangered species until they no longer require the act’s protection and can be delisted from the Endangered Species List.
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (1974)

    Safe Drinking Water Act (1974)
    The Safe Drinking Water Act was passed by Congress in 1974 to protect the public health. This act regulates the nation’s public drinking water supply sources such as the river, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater well. In addition, it authorizes the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to set national health-based standards for drinking water to protect against both naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants that may be found in drinking water.
  • Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (1975)

    Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (1975)
    The goal of this act is to improve the regulatory and enforcement authority of the Secretary of Transportation so that they can protect the nation from any life risking incidents involved in the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce. This regulation applies to anybody who transports or ships what might be labeled as hazardous materials.
  • Toxic Substances Control Act - TSCA (1976)

    Toxic Substances Control Act - TSCA (1976)
    This law was passed in 1976 by President Gerald Ford to regulate the chemicals used in everyday products. This law reinforces that there are no chemicals being made or sold, existing or new, that does not present an unreasonable risk of injury to the health or environment. There should be sufficient data developed about the effects of these chemical substances and the mixture given, which is the responsibility of the manufacturers who processes these chemicals.
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act-RCRA (1976)

    Resource Conservation and Recovery Act-RCRA (1976)
    This act regulates the management of solid waste such as garbage, hazardous waste, and underground storage tanks holding petroleum products or certain chemicals. The purpose of this act is to protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal, to conserve energy and natural resources, to reduce the amount of waste generated, and to ensure that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner.
  • Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (1977)

    Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (1977)
    The purpose of this act is to establish a nationwide program dedicated to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations. It is the primary federal law that regulates the environmental effects of coal mining in the United States. The intention is to reclaim abandoned mine lands, regulate active coalmines, and control the environmental impacts of surface coal mining.
  • National Energy Conservation Policy Act (1978)

    National Energy Conservation Policy Act (1978)
    This act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in hopes to promote energy saving of buildings, industries, and transportations through the means of conservation. Due to the high-energy usage in the U.S., the purpose of this act is to provide for the regulation of national exchange, to reduce the growth in demand for energy in the United States, and to conserve nonrenewable energy resources produced around the world without inhibiting beneficial economic growth.
  • Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (1980)

    Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (1980)
    This is a federal legislation act that provides protection and management of wildlife species and fishes. This act reinforces that fish and wildlife are of ecological, educational, esthetic, cultural, recreational, economic, and scientific value to the nation. This promotes the reassurance that the wildlife and their habitats will be conserved. The conservation and management of fish and wildlife will assist in restoring and maintaining their environment.
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (1980)

    Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (1980)
    This act is commonly known as Superfund, which created a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries. It provided broad federal authority to respond directly to the releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. The tax collected would go to a trust fund to clean up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. It established prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites.
  • Nuclear Waste Policy Act (1982)

    Nuclear Waste Policy Act (1982)
    This act was passed by the United States congress to enforce the proper storage and disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. It established procedures and sites for geological repositories and elected the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the responsibility of building, operating, and monitoring these geologically mined repositories. The DOE built a long-term nuclear waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nevada.
  • Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act-SARA (1986)

    Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act-SARA (1986)
    The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) amended the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) on October 17, 1986. The purpose of this act is to stress the importance of permanent remedies and innovative treatment technologies in cleaning up hazardous waste site. It also increases the focus on human health problems posed by hazardous waste sites. With this act, it increases state involvement in every phase of the Superfund program.
  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act - EPCRA (1986)

    Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act - EPCRA (1986)
    EPCRA is a plan to help the public’s health and environment. The purpose is to encourage and support emergency planning efforts at the state and local levels. It provides the public and local governments with information concerning potential chemical hazards that may be present in their communities. Basically, it prepares them for what actions they need to take if there’s a release of these chemicals and whether or not they need to stay put or evacuate.
  • Montreal Protocol (1987)

    Montreal Protocol (1987)
    The Montreal Protocol was established on September 16, 1987 to reduce the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances in order to reduce the abundance in the atmosphere, and thereby protect the earth’s fragile ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol was adjusted six times to accommodate changes concerning reductions of production and consumption of the controlled substances.
  • Clean Air Act - Extension (1990)

    Clean Air Act - Extension (1990)
    Clean Air Act of 1990 is the lastest ammended extension to the first Clean Air Act. Since many states failed to meet mandated air quality standards, congress created the 1977 amendment to aid states in achieving their original goals. This 1977 amendment extended deadlines and added the Prevention of Significant Deterioration program to protect air cleaner than national standards. Then in 1990, it introduced permit programs for large sources that releases pollutants into the air.
  • Basel Convention (1992)

    Basel Convention (1992)
    The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal was put into effect on May 5, 1992. This environmental agreement regulates the import and export of hazardous waste amongst the conventional parties and it established legal obligations to ensure that such wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner.
  • Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (1992)

    Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act (1992)
    The Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 required that houses built prior to 1978 obtain certain information about lead, lead hazards in the residence, and opportunities for an independent lead inspection. It should be accessible for potential buyers and renters prior to becoming obligated to buy or rent so that it can protect families from exposure to lead from paint, dust, and soil.
  • North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (1994)

    North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (1994)
    This agreement was made between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The purpose was to increase the efficiency and fairness of trade among the three nations, eliminate the taxes each nation imposes on the others’ imports, and other bureaucratic and legal barriers related to trade. This assist in the strengthening of the friendship and cooperation amongst the nations, contribute to the development and expansion of world trade, and provide a catalyst to broader international cooperation.
  • Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice (1994)

    Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice (1994)
    The Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice was issued by President William J. Clinton. The purpose was to focus on the environmental and human health effects of federal actions on minority and low-income populations. The goal was to achieve environmental protection for all communities, promote nondiscrimination in federal programs that affect human health and the environment, as well as providing minority and low-income communities access to public information and participation.
  • Kyoto Protocol (1997)

    Kyoto Protocol (1997)
    The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on December 11, 1997. It is an international agreement amongst industrialized nations to set mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions. The mission is to stabilize human generated emissions at a level that will not put a greater harm on the atmosphere. Unfortunately, the protocol placed a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”
  • Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century - TEA-21 (1998)

    Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century - TEA-21 (1998)
    Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) was signed into law on June 9, 1998. TEA-21 is the largest public works bill in history that provides significant increase in highway and transit funds. It changed the Federal budget rules to “guarantee” minimum funding levels for Federal highway, highway safety, and transit programs. Along with assurance that each state receives a minimum return on the amount of gas taxes, it also contributes to the highway Trust Fund.
  • California AB 1493 (2002)

    California AB 1493 (2002)
    California Assembly Bill 1493 was signed into law on July 22, 2002. It was the first law in the nation to address the greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, from passenger vehicles. The regulation was applied starting from motor vehicles manufactured in the 2009 model year and any model after that where automakers will have to make California cars and trucks that will emit 22% fewer greenhouse gases by 2012, and then 30% fewer by 2016.
  • Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users-SAFETEA (2005)

    Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users-SAFETEA (2005)
    On August 10, 2005, President George W. Bush signed into law the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA). This act is beneficial in ways that it guarantees fundings for highways, highway safety programs, and public transportation for everyone. In addition, it gives state and local transportation decision makers more flexibility for solving transportation problems in their communities and gives them a method in saving money.
  • Energy Independence and Security Act (2007)

    Energy Independence and Security Act (2007)
    Energy Independence and Security Act is a public law that was signed by President George Bush. This act was designed to reinforce consumers to reduce energy use and protect consumers by increasing production in energy saving methods such as utilizing clean fuels, and the efficiency of buildings and vehicles. Due to the importance of energy saving, three main laws were endorsed: Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards, the Renewable Fuel Standard, and the appliance/lighting efficiency standards.