National-Major U.S. Environmental Laws (Yo!)

 

  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act of 1947 (FIFRA): regulates the manufacture and use of pesticides
  • Wilderness Act of 1964: established the national wilderness preservation system
  • Water Quality Act of 1965: attempt to reduce non-point source pollution by creating government watch dog under Dept of Heath, Ed and Welfare.
  • National Environmental Policy Act of 1969: Environmental Impact statements must be done before any project effecting federal lands is started. Created a council on environmental quality.
  • Clean Air Act of 1970: established national primary and secondary air quality standards. Set emission standards for cars, and limits for release of air pollutants.
  • Clean Water Act of 1972: set maximum permissible amounts of water pollutants that can be discharged into waterways and created pollutant discharge permits. Goal: To make all water swimmable and fishable.
  • Endangered Species Act of 1973: protects threatened and endangered animals in the US, and puts their protection over economic considerations.
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) of 1974: set maximum contaminant levels for pollutants that may have adverse effects on human health.
  • Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA): increased superfund to $8.5 Billion. Shares responsibility for cleanup among potentially responsible parties.
  • Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976: EPA- ban or regulate chemicals deemed a risk to the health of the environment.
  • Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976: Controls hazardous waste with a cradle to grave system from storage, treatment, transportation to disposal.
  • Surface Mining Control & Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA): requires coal strip mines to reclaim the land
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980: Created $1.6 billion superfund designed to identify and clean up abandoned hazardous waste dump sites. Established liability for clean up costs if source could be identified.
  • Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988: Bans dumping of sewage, sludge and industrial waste into oceans.
  • Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA0: Set pesticide limits in food, and all active and inactive ingredients must be screened for estrogenic/endocrine effects.
  • Low Level Radioactive Policy Act: all states must have facilities to handle low level radioactive wastes.
  • Nuclear Waste Policy Act: US government must develop a high level nuclear waste site by 2015
  • Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA)- A 1972 Federal law that provides guidance and federal assistance to voluntary state and local coastal management programs. Goals are for the protection of natural resources and management of land development along coasts.
  • Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA)- A 1976 Federal law that outlines procedures concerning the use and preservation of public US lands.
  • Food Drug and Cosmetic Act- A federal law passed in 1906 that regulates the sanitary condition and safety of food, drugs and cosmetics. It includes food additives.

 

International Treaties, Laws and Conventions

 

  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES): lists species that cannot be commercially traded as live specimens or wildlife products.
  • Madrid protocol: Moratorium on mineral exploration for 50 years in Antarctica
  • Kyoto Protocol of 1997: Controlling global warming by setting greenhouse gas emissions targets for developed countries. Not signed by the U.S.
  • Montreal Protocol of 1987: A plan to limit and eventually phase out ozone depleting substances (CFC's)
  • Earth Summit: held in 1970's, discussed clean water and air. Held in South Africa. The last summit tried to pass a world law by the year 2010 that 15% of our power was to be created by air and solar power. But the Summit was shut down.
  • The World Trade Organization (WTO): designed to make international trade more fair and encourage development.
    • It has been used to subvert national environmental laws. Has the effect of hurting small, local farmers and businesses.
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): Trade alliance between U.S., Canada and Mexico