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Federal Environmental Policy: A Summary Overview

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Presentation on theme: "Federal Environmental Policy: A Summary Overview"— Presentation transcript:

1 Federal Environmental Policy: A Summary Overview
Roy R. Carriker, Ph.D. Professor of Food and Resource Economics University of Florida

2 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.

3 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.

4 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

5 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).”

6 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.

7 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)”.

8 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.

9 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.

10 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.

11 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.

12 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).

13 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.

14 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.

15 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.

16 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.

17 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.

18 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.

19 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.

20 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.

21 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.

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