Pollution Prevention Laws and Policies in the US

As we see that pollution is now one of the biggest threats facing the world, people from all corners are working to overcome it. While pollution was beginning to be catastrophic for its own reasons, the United States was one of the countries that took immediate restrictive measures against it.

Let us look at the details of pollution in the United States from the beginning to the regulatory bodies and Pollution Prevention Laws in the United States.

Among 115 countries in the year 2017, the US ranks 97th in the number pollution index by country with a value of pollution index at 31.19. In 2012, the US ranked 42 out of 64 countries with a pollution index value of 61.27. In less than a decade, they reduced their pollution levels by almost half.

A Brief Look into the US Pollution History

Cities were becoming more populous. This was in places with high population density, where contamination of water and land sources was first noticed. In the 1800s, people began to realize that unnatural life and contamination of water were the cause of the rise of diseases.

It was in the 1850s that Chicago had the first sewage system in the US to treat wastewater. Following the leadership of Chicago, many major cities in America did the same.

Soon the end of 19th century America began to see pollution levels, especially in water bodies. This was due to increased industrialization. There was no regulation of industrial waste disposal or release of airborne contaminants through the smoke.

The increase in automobile usage was also exacerbating their woes. Diesel was the major source of fuel at that time. Most residues found in water include sulfuric acid, soda ash, lime, dyes, wood pulp, and animal byproducts.

Spontaneous fires on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland Ohio that began in 1936 and recurred until 1969 led to the establishment of the 1972 Clean Water Act. In October of 1948 the pollutants for the industrial city of Donora, Pennsylvania covered with rich smog.

Deaths for 5 days and serious causes. The Clean Air Act or Air Pollution Control Act passed in 1955 after widespread awareness of the incident.

The most affected states and cities in the United States.

  • Both Ohio and Kentucky states where many manufacturing industries and power generation plants are located were found to be the most affected by air pollution. This is according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
  • Pennsylvania and Florida get closer in terms of air pollution. Although Florida has tried to reduce it by switching from coal-fired plants to natural gas, its status on its table has not changed much.
  • Others in the top ten are Maryland, Indiana Michigan, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina.
  • Surprisingly, the cities of California state are most polluted by particulate pollution and ozone pollution. The top 5 in each category are Fresno-Madera, Bakersfield, Visalia-Porterville-Hanford, Modesto-Meredd, Los Angeles-Long Beach. This again according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Regulatory Bodies /Organizations

Environmental Protection Agency

  • The Environmental Protection Agency was formed in 1970 during the tenure of President Richard Nixon. Various states and communities had enacted several laws that did not work as expected. So, a federal body was formed.
  • EPA’s first responsibility was primarily the execution of the Clean Air Act by regulating emissions from industries and vehicles.
  • EPA by pollution of vehicles and industries had reduced air pollution efforts by about a third by 1990.
  • This worked when automotive factories were convinced by the EPA to have “acidic converters” in all vehicles.
  • Other projects taken by EPA include the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Pesticides, Fertilizer Sewage Facilities.
  • A successful EPA project was making schools asbestos-free.
  • The EPA’s other tasks were to provide funds to build new sewage treatment plants and to fill a huge dump yard and garbage.

National Resources Defense Council

  • It was also founded in 1970
  • Using scientific studies, statistics, and technological development, NRDC wants to retain more of the natural resources of the Earth for future generations.
  • They want to create solutions, create awareness and mobilize people to stop pollution

Pollution Prevention Laws / Policies

Pollution Prevention Law

Federal Water Pollution control Act Amendments of 1972

It is also known as the Clean Water Act which came into effect on October 18, 1972.

  • The purpose of these laws is to maintain and maintain the right balance in the water bodies of the country to make them suitable for the proper functioning of the ecosystem and to make them suitable for human use.
  • Through this Act, the EPA makes law provisions for building more efficient sewage treatment plants, better technology to improve the quality of treated water, cleaning up contaminated lakes rivers, etc.

Safe Drinking Water Act

  • Established in 1974, these laws seek to protect the quality of drinking water.
  • It was established in a different way from the Clean Water Act because laws ensure the quality of water bodies, and also include the quality of groundwater i.e. the water below the earth’s surface.
  • These laws require all operators of public water systems to comply with the primary / minimum standards of water safety.
  • It authorizes the EPA to prevent contamination of groundwater through underground dumping of waste.

Clean Air Act

  • A federal act was established on December 17, 1963, to explore laws for good health and the environment free from air pollution.
  • Revised in 1977 and 1990.
  • has been successfully applied by the EPA to bring down pollution levels, especially ozone levels, mercury emissions, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide levels.
  • These laws brought about a major change in the level of automobile emissions by reducing the main content in fuel.

As previously mentioned, the level of pollution was slowly but surely brought down by drastic and frequent action. While many organizations, industrial groups, and corporations have participated wholeheartedly and tried to bring out methods and technologies to reduce their emissions and waste products, there has also been a side that is resistant to change. Have been.

While adopting new pollution control techniques will prove costly and will eat into beneficial processes, there has been opposition to these facilities as well. The industrial lobby, which runs the power plants and major manufacturing industries, is a very powerful one and is able to make the policy in its favor, defeating the major need to make the environment suitable for all.

Minorities, marginalized, economically backward classes are those who are the main victims of pollution. They are made easy prey with low levels of education and awareness. And they are less likely to demand rigorous protocols followed by industries in their regions.

They are less likely to compensate for health issues related to their pollution or damage to their properties. While non-minority groups are able to get away from it, they are the most vulnerable groups

It is the motto of the government, EPA, and other agencies that it is the right of every person, regardless of color, gender, class, religion, or race, to have access to clean air, water, and a safe environment to live. “Everyone strives for it.


What are the different laws to prevent pollution?

Several Rules which have been framed to give effect to The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, and The Environment (Protection) Act, etc. have also been included in this edition.

What are pollution laws?

Pollution-control laws focus on the regulation of activities that utilize materials that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment. These laws frequently vary in terms of their expectations and potential penalties for violators, depending on the risks associated with the materials involved.

What does the Pollution Prevention Act state?

The Federal Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 established pollution prevention as the public policy of the United States. The Federal Act declares that pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source wherever feasible, while pollution that cannot be prevented should be recycled in an environmentally safe manner.

What are the 6 environmental laws?

The Bureau Is Mandated to Implement on A Nationwide Scale The Six Important Environmental Laws:

  • Environmental Impact Assessment Law (PD 1586)
  • Toxic Substances and Hazardous Waste Management Act (RA 6969)
  • Clean Air Act Of 1999 (RA 8749)
  • Ecological Solid Waste Management Act (RA 9003)
  • Clean Water Act (RA 9275)
  • Environmental Awareness and Education Act Of 2009 (RA 9512)

What are the laws to protect environment?

The six laws related to environmental protection and wildlife are: The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972; Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and The Indian Forest Act, 1927.

What caused the Pollution Prevention Act?

The Pollution Prevention Act, also known as P2, was created to implement cost-effective and pollution-reducing changes to the production, operation, and use of materials and substances at their source. In the 1960s and 1970s, pollution to U.S. land, water, and air began to gain national attention.

What are three major environmental laws?

In the 1970s, the United States government enacted the three major environmental laws: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Which are the three laws related to environmental pollution?

The current environmental laws and policies in India include: The Forest Conservation Act, 1980, The Environment (Protection) Act 1986, The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, Air and The Indian Forest Act, 1927 and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.

What is the environment Bill 2020?

The Environment Bill of the Parliament of the United Kingdom aims to improve air and water quality, protect wildlife, increase recycling and reduce plastic waste.

What are acts and laws?

An Act is a decree that is passed by the respective legislature, such as the State Legislative Assembly or the Parliament of India. A subset of law is an act. Law ensures that people adhere to the established norms and regulations. In some cases, an Act is used to establish regulations and laws in specific fields.

What is the Environmental Protection Act 1990 summary?

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) brings together the system of integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC) for raw material usage, waste avoidance (or minimization), energy efficiency and the disposal of wastes to land, water and air.

What are the rules and regulations for the Environment Protection Act 1986?

It empowers the Central Government to establish authorities [under section 3(3)] charged with the mandate of preventing environmental pollution in all its forms and to tackle specific environmental problems that are peculiar to different parts of the country. The Act was last amended in 1991.

How can we prevent pollution essay?

The first way to reduce pollution is to practice the 3Rs concept namely reduce, reuse and recycle. Citizens should reduce the usage of air-conditioners as it will release harmful gases, for instant ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons which will result in reducing air pollution.

What was the most important law passed to deal with air pollution?

The Clean Air Act, the most important air pollution law, was passed in 1970.

What is the Clean Air Act of 1999?

The Act provides for the creation of a national program of air pollution management focusing primarily on pollution prevention; for the promotion of mass media communication in order to create social awareness and active participation in air quality planning and monitoring.

What is the Environment Act 2021?

For the first time this Act will set clear statutory targets for the recovery of the natural world in four priority areas: air quality, biodiversity, water and waste, and includes an important new target to reverse the decline in species abundance by the end of 2030.

What is the Building Safety Bill?

The Bill is intended to ensure that building safety is a top priority and to address issues with a lack of accountability during the life cycle of a building. It creates an independent Building Safety Regulator which will be established by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

What are the 4 types of laws?

In this presentation, we will examine the four primary sources of law at the state and federal levels. These four sources of law are the United States Constitution, federal and state statutes, administrative regulations, and case law.

What is the Environmental Protection Act 1974?

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) succeeded the Control of Pollution Act 1974 (COPA) and introduced new regulations for improved management systems relating to waste and pollution. The Act also covers waste disposal and statutory nuisances, such as noise or smells.

What is a Section 82?

Section 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows individuals who are aggrieved by a statutory nuisance to take their own action.

How many Schedules are there in the Environmental Protection Act?

In the wake of the Bhopal gas Tragedy or Bhopal Disaster, the [Government of India] enacted the Environment Protection Act of 1986 under Article 253 of the Constitution. Passed in May 1986, it came into force on 19 November 1986. It has 26 sections and 4 chapters.

Why is the Environmental Protection Act called the umbrella act?

Why is Environmental Protection Act called umbrella act? Environmental protection act 1986 is also the Umbrella act because it provides the framework to the central government in order to make the coordination between different state as well as the central authorities using different act like water act etc.

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