The EPA In The 1970's

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Historically: In the 1970’s there was growing confusion regarding environmental policy due to certain states creating environmental protection laws which were largely ineffective. To ease confusion, fix national guidelines, and monitor and enforce them President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA functions under three federal departments: the Interior, Agriculture, and Health, Education and Welfare departments. The original role of the EPA was to administrate the Clean Air Act which was enacted to reduce the air pollution caused by vehicles and industry. The EPA has since grown to enforce at least 12 major statutes such as: ocean dumping laws, safe drinking water, insecticides, and asbestos hazards in …show more content…

Supreme Courts however have defended the constitutionality of environmental safeguards. This is due to the fact that the quality of the environment affects the nation’s quality of life from factors such as, the air we breathe and food and water we consume, to economic factors such as protecting the people from lack of resources. If environmental policy did not exist, industry would burn coal and oil without regulation and the nation would face issues such as gray smog and unbreathable air, as well as an eventual shortage or depletion of fossil …show more content…

Congress amended the Clean Air Act to set national standards for air quality, auto emission and anti-pollution in 1970 as well. In 1971 Congress restricts lead-based paint in homes and on cribs and toys. The EPA bans DDT a carcinogenic pesticide and requires a review of all pesticides in 1972 and Congress passes the Clean Water Act limiting raw sewage and other pollutants in fresh water such as lakes, rivers, and streams. In 1973 the EPA issues its first permit limiting a factory’s polluted discharge into water. In this same year, the OPEC oil embargo triggers an energy crisis which stimulates conservation of fossil fuels and research on alternative fuel sources. Congress passes the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 which allows the EPA to regulate the quality of public drinking water. Two years later President Gerald Ford signed the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 to reduce environmental and human health risks. This resulted in Congress passing the Resource Conservation Act regulating hazardous waste from its production to its disposal and the EPA begins to phase out carcinogenic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) production and use. The following year President Jimmy Carter signs the Clean Air Act amendments to strengthen air quality standards and protect people’s health, and the federal government bans chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) the year after that since research found

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