2 The New Environmentalism of the 1960s Prior to the 1960s, environmentalism focused on preservation of wilderness and conservation of resources.1The environmental movement flourished in the 1960s in the midst of the Civil Rights, Peace and Women’s movements.1Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring brought to public attention the dangers of environmental pollution to public health, such as the use of DDT, and sparked the beginning of modern environmentalism.1
4 The New Environmentalism of the 1960s As people became more aware of environmental issues, such as air and water pollution, radiation, pesticide poisoning and other problems, they demanded the federal government take more responsibility.1Public concern for the environment became clear during the Earth Day demonstrations of
5 The New Environmentalism In response to the environmental movement, several lawsemerged to regulate environmental pollution and protectnatural resources.Some of the most important laws that determine how theMississippi River is managed are:The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), 1972Upper Mississippi River Management Act (UMRMA) of 1986
6 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 “The purposes of this Act are: To declare a national policywhich will encourage productive and enjoyable harmonybetween man and his environment; to promote efforts whichwill prevent or eliminate damage to the environment andbiosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; toenrich the understanding of the ecological systems andnatural resources important to the Nation; and to establish aCouncil on Environmental Quality.” Sec. 2 [42 USC § 4321].
7 National Environmental Policy Act Amended in 1969Signed into law January 1, 1970 by President NixonCongress recognized the need to create a policy to protect the environment for present and future generations.The law applies only to federal agencies and requires that prior to taking any “major” or “significant” action, the agency consider the environmental impact of that action.“All agencies of the Federal Government shall include in every recommendation or report on proposals for legislation and other major federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment, a detailed statement by the responsible official on the action’s potential environmental impacts, adverse impacts that cannot be avoided, and alternatives to the proposed action.”The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. [42 USC].
8 National Environmental Policy Act Federal agencies must analyze and disclose environmentalconsequences of major actions in one of these documents:Categorical Exclusion (CE)Environmental Assessment (EA)Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)The document must be completed before action is taken.While NEPA forces Federal agencies to “think before they act,” it does not control the final decision on an action.NEPA also established the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) to ensure Federal agency compliance with NEPA.The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. [42 USC].
9 National Environmental Policy Act Decision-making flowchart
10 National Environmental Policy Act NEPA is one of the most important laws that determines how the Mississippi River is managed. For example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was required to file an EIS for the Mississippi’s Nine-Foot Channel Project in the 1930s.3Location of locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River
11 Clean Water Act (CWA)The CWA is the primary federal law in the US governing water pollution.The goals of the CWA are:to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters,To eliminate the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters by 1985, andTo make all waters swimmable and fishable3The CWA is one of the most important laws protecting the quality of the Mississippi River.
12 Clean Water Act (CWA) History: River Harbor Act (1896), also referred to as theRefuse Act was passed to protect navigation.4In 1948, Congress passed the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. Since then, the Act was amended numerous times.6The burning Cuyahoga River becomes a catalyst for change.4today1969
13 Clean Water Act History, cont.: Following the 1972 amendments to the FWPCA, this law became commonly known as the Clean Water Act. One of the critical provisions was the establishment of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System(NPDES) to authorize EPA issuance of dischargepermits.6The CWA underwent extensive amendments in 1977 to include many important provisions including development of the “Best Management Practices” Program.6The Water Quality Act of 1987 (P.L ) provided the most recent series of amendments.5
14 Clean Water ActOctober 18, 2007 will mark the 35th anniversary of the CWA.Because of the CWA, nearly two-thirds of U.S. rivers and lakesare safe for swimming and fishing, compared with 36% in1972.7Illinois Accomplishments:Since 1972, assessed stream miles rated “good” has increased from 11% to more than 62%.8Between 1992 and 2000, there has been a 20% increase in the number of assessed streams and rivers.9Over 100 watershed groups are working to protect local rivers, lakes, streams and groundwater.8
16 Upper Mississippi River Management Act (UMRMA) of 1986 Congress declared the UMR system to be both a nationally significant ecosystem and a nationally significant commercial navigation system.10The main objectives of UMRMA are:comprehensive planning for the use, protection, growth and development of the UMR system,habitat rehabilitation and enhancement projectslong-term resource monitoring, data inventory and analysis3
17 SourcesEnvironmental Movement in the United States.The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. [42 USC].Fremling, Calvin R. Immortal River: the Upper Mississippi in ancient and modern times. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2005.Of Time and the RiverFederal Water Pollution Control Act.Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act).Sierra Club. Clean Water.Annual Environmental Conditions Report. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. October 2003.Illinois EPA Biennial Report. June 2005.Upper Mississippi River Management. Title 33, Cornell University Law School.Photo and Illustration Credits:Silent Spring book jacket.Rachel Carson. csc.gallaudet.eduDDT bioaccumulation diagram.Earth DayEarth Day.The National Environmental Policy Act book jacket.Richard Nixon.NEPA Decision-making Flowchart.Lock and Dams on Mississippi River.Cuyahoga River burning.Cuyahoga River today.NPDES logo.Conditions of Illinois Rivers and Stream. Annual Environmental Conditions Report. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. October 2003.Upper Mississippi River map.