Environmental Laws

Events

National Park Service Act

1916

Established the National Park Service and preserved areas of nature and wilderness

Soil Conservation Act

1935

Appropriated funds for soil conservation payments to farmers

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act

1947

Required EPA approval for use of all commercial pesticides

Clean Air Act

1955

Established standards on the amount of air pollution from emissions and industry

Fish and Wildlife Act

1956

Focused on the fishing economy to sustain the population of all species of fish

Price-Anderson Act

1957

Governs liability related issues for all non-military nuclear facilities

WIlderness Act

1964

Established 9.1 million acres of federally-protected wilderness to keep wildlife and habitat sustained

Land and Water Conservation Act

1965

Established a fund to assist the states and federal agencies to meet recreation demands of the people

Water Quality Act

1965

Act intended to reduce the amount of water pollution

Water Resources Planning Act

1965

Established a Water Resources Council to address issues about water quality and supplies

Species Conservation Act

1966

Created a list of endangered species which were then given protective measures

Freedom of Information Act

1966

Law that gives citizens the right to access information from the federal government

National Trails System Act

1968

Established a system of national trails and recreational areas

National Environmental Policy Act

1969

Act that makes the federal government consider the environmental impact before federal action

Clean Water Act

1972

Banned polluted discharge from being put into the water and required metals to be removed from waste

Marine Mammal Protection Act

1972

Act that put an increased importance on protecting mammals in the ocean

Safe Drinking Water Act

1974

Ensured that public drinking water met appropriate safety standards

Renewable Resources Planning Act

1974

Required the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct an assessment of the nation's renewable resources every ten years

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

1975

Treaty to protect endangered plants and animals

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

1976

Law that created the framework for the disposal of solid and hazardous waste

National Forest Management Act

1976

Law that called for the management of renewable resources in forests

Federal Land Policy and Management Act

1976

Act that governs the way that the public lands are managed

Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act

1976

Law that authorizes long-range planning by the United States Forest Service to ensure the future supply of of forest resources while maintaining a quality environment

Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act

1977

Regulates the environmental effects of mining by creating a program to regulate mining and a program to reclaim abandoned land mines

Soil and Water Conservation Act

1977

Law that calls for the evaluation of soil and water on private lands to plan for present and future demands

Energy Tax Act

1978

Act to promote energy conservation through tax credits and education

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act

1980

Determines quota and season for different species of fish to maintain a sustainable number of fish in the population

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

1980

Act to facilitate the cleanup of any abandoned or uncontrolled sites containing hazardous substances and to impose strict liability for cleanup costs on parties

Low Level Radioactive Policy Act

1980

Law that established that each state was responsible for disposing of low level radioactive waste such as gloves and lab equipment that came in contact with nuclear properties

Nuclear Waste Policy Act

1982

Act that said the US government must develop a high level nuclear waste site by 2015

International Environmental Protection Act

1983

Authorized the president to assist other countries in wildlife and plant protection efforts to ensure biodiversity

Emergency Wetlands Resources Act

1986

Protected and conserved the wetlands and established refuges for waterfowl

Montreal Protocol

1987

Agreement to take steps to fight against Ozone depletion by banning CFC's

Ocean Dumping Ban Act

1988

Bans ocean dumping of sewage sludge and industrial waste

Madrid Protocol

1989

Policy of protecting and creating trademarks

Environmental Education Act

1990

Act to promote the environmental education

Pollution Prevention Act

1990

Requires facilities to reduce pollution at its source in toxicity or volume

Waste Reduction Act

1990

Law that makes it the national policy to reduce or prevent pollution

Lacey Act

1990

Prohibits interstate transport of wild animals dead or alive without federal permit

California Desert Protection Act

1994

Law that implemented the Death Valley and Joshua Tree National parks as well as the Mojave National Preserve

Food Quality Protection Act

1996

Set pesticide limits in food and all ingredients must be screened for estrogenic and endocrine effects

Kyoto Protocol

1997

Established commitments for the reduction of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and sulfur hexafluoride as well as hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons.