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Federal Environmental Policy: A Summary Overview. Roy R. Carriker, Ph.D. Professor of Food and Resource Economics University of Florida. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)--1970. January 1, 1970: signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon.

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federal environmental policy a summary overview

Federal Environmental Policy:A Summary Overview

Roy R. Carriker, Ph.D.

Professor of Food and Resource Economics

University of Florida

national environmental policy act nepa 1970
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)--1970
  • January 1, 1970: signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon.
  • Purpose: to require Federal agencies to consider environmental impacts.
  • Requires an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for all proposed Federal actions that might effect quality of the environment.
nepa continued
NEPA (continued)
  • Environmental Impact Statement must identify:
    • Adverse environmental impacts that cannot be remedied.
    • Alternatives to the proposed action.
    • Relationship between local, short-term use of environment and maintenance of long-term productivity of the environment.
    • Any irreversible commitments of resources.
nepa continued1
NEPA (continued)
  • Created the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in the Executive Office of the President.
    • CEQ (with EPA) monitors NEPA compliance.
    • CEQ serves as environmental policy advisor to the President.
  • Courts have halted Federal projects for failure to meet procedural (EIS) requirements of NEPA
clean air act caa 1970
Clean Air Act (CAA)--1970
  • Purpose: to create a strong Federal role in regulating air quality.
  • EPA may delegate regulation of “stationary sources” to states, subject to approved “State Implementation Plan (SIP).”
    • EPA set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulates, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone and lead.
    • 1990 amendments, Congress listed 189 chemicals requiring EPA (through the states) to regulate as “Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPS).”
clean air act continued
Clean Air Act (Continued)
  • EPA regulates “mobile sources.”
    • Tailpipe emission standards for new cars, buses and trucks.
    • Phased out lead additives in fuel.
  • 1990 amendments created market-oriented permit system to reduce sulfur dioxide/acid precipitation.
clean water act 1972
Clean Water Act--1972
  • Purpose: eliminate the discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States.
  • Regulation of point sources/surface water
    • EPA sets effluent standards
    • EPA requires permit of anyone discharging into waters of the United States.
    • Applicant must meet effluent standards to qualify for a permit.
    • This program is called “National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)”.
clean water act continued
Clean Water Act (continued)
  • Authorized Wastewater Treatment Construction grants/loans.
  • Requires dischargers to adopt Best Available Waste Treatment Technology.
  • Directs Corps of Engineers to require a permit for deposition of dredged or fill materials into navigable waters.
    • Definition of “waters of the United States” includes certain wetlands.
    • Corps must follow EPA environmental guidelines.
clean water act continued1
Clean Water Act (continued)
  • Non-point sources of water pollution
    • Authorizes financial and technical assistance to states for “Area-wide Waste Treatment Management Plans”.
    • Requires state assessment of water quality and specific state implementation plans for reducing water pollution from non-point sources.
federal environmental pesticide control act 1972
Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act--1972
  • Purpose: amend Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act to protect environment from pesticides.
  • Transferred administration of pesticide policy from Agriculture to EPA.
  • Requires all pesticides to be registered with EPA before they can be sold or used in the U.S.
federal environmental pesticide control act continued
Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act (continued)
  • Registrant must demonstrate to EPA that pesticide does not cause “unreasonable adverse effects” on environment.
  • EPA may suspend or cancel registrations if unforeseen problems arise.
  • Efficacy is also required for registration.
endangered species act 1973
Endangered Species Act--1973
  • Purpose: to protect endangered species from extinction and to aid their recovery.
  • Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service are the lead agencies.
  • Decision to list species uses only biological criteria (not economic nor political criteria).
endangered species act 19731
Endangered Species Act--1973
  • Agency must designate critical habitat of listed species.
  • Section 7: Federal agencies must consult lead agency for “jeopardy opinion” if agency project might impact listed species.
  • Section 9: Prohibits ANYONE from “taking” listed species.
  • Section 10(a) amendment allows “incidental take” subject to approved Habitat Conservation Plan.
  • Authorizes Federal cost share to help states implement provisions of the Act.
safe drinking water act 1974
Safe Drinking Water Act--1974
  • Purpose: to protect public drinking water from harmful contaminants.
  • Regulatory program:
    • EPA to publish National Primary Drinking Water Standards.
    • Public water supply systems monitor for listed contaminants, report to EPA and state agency.
    • EPA requires remedial measures in case of violations of purity standards.
safe drinking water act 19741
Safe Drinking Water Act--1974
  • State primacy was encouraged.
  • Authorized EPA to designate “sole source” aquifers.
  • EPA leads Wellhead Protection Program.
  • EPA leads Underground Injection Control Program.
resource conservation and recovery act rcra 1976
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)--1976
  • Purpose: to assure safe management of solid wastes and hazardous wastes.
  • Subtitle C: “cradle-to-grave” monitoring for hazardous substances.
  • Subtitle D: regulates municipal solid waste disposal facilities.
    • EPA sets standards.
    • States implement standards.
resource conservation and recovery act continued
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (continued)
  • 1984 Amendments
    • Revised Federal standards for sanitary landfills.
    • Subtitle I: regulates underground storage tanks containing petroleum products, pesticides, etc.
  • Encourages state implementation.
toxic substances control act 1976
Toxic Substances Control Act--1976
  • Purpose: to prevent “unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment” from toxic chemicals.
  • Requires EPA to inventory chemicals in commercial production and determine which pose “unreasonable risk.”
  • Authorizes EPA to require testing by industry to see if chemicals present unacceptable risk.
toxic substances control act continued
Toxic Substances Control Act (continued)
  • EPA may regulate the manufacture, processing, use, distribution or disposal of toxic chemicals.
  • EPA may screen new chemicals, ban chemicals.
  • 1986 amendment required EPA to inspect for and control risks from asbestos in schools.
  • 1992 amendment required EPA to reduce public exposure to lead from paint.
comprehensive environmental response compensation and liability act cercla 1980
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)--1980
  • Purpose: to protect public health and environment from abandoned and uncontrolled hazardous wastes.
  • Gave EPA $1.6 billion trust fund (SUPERFUND) to clean up contaminated sites. (Another $8.5 billion added in 1986).
  • Extends strict, joint and several liability, making responsible parties pay for cleanup.
cercla continued
CERCLA (Continued)
  • Requires EPA to list “hazardous substances.”
  • Encourages state implementation.
  • 1986 SARA: Title III “right-to-know” provision requires public release of information about chemicals made, stored, and/or released by local businesses.