• Legislation has been the most effective tool in causing environmental change.


• Much of the environmental legislation is criminal law.


• Keep in mind that while some legislation can be deal with in civil court, it does not prevent individuals from pursuing lawsuits that fall outside legislation.


• Well know legislation includes,

CAA (Clean Air Act) 1970 - Allows EPA to police airborne pollution sources, lists pollution types. Amended over the years.

CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act) 1980 - amended RCRA, set up fund for site remediation and establishes liability responsibilities.

CWA (Clean Water Act) 1972 - Empowered EPA to police discharges of wastes into waterways.

EPCRA (Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act) 1986 - makes toxic releases public record with fines.

HSWA (Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments) 1984 - national hazardous waste management.

PPA (Pollution Prevention Act) 1990 - deals with sources of pollution and requires reporting of improvements.

RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) 1976 - deals with waste disposal issues and hazardous waste controls.

TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act) 1976 - deals with toxic chemicals entering the marketplace.


• One significant impact is that when purchasing property the new owner assumes all liability for environmental problems. This means than now an environmental survey will be conducted before purchasing a property.



1.2.1 Clean Air Act (CAA) 1970


• Some chemicals on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) chemical list are given below. These are found in section 109 under section 40 of the CAA.

- carbon dioxide

- hydrocarbons

- nitrogen oxides

- suspended particulates

- photochemical oxidants

- sulfur oxides

- lead


• Some chemicals on the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) chemical list are given below. These are found in section 112 under section 40 of the CAA.

- asbestos

- benzene

- beryllium

- coke oven emissions

- mercury

- vinyl chloride

- inorganic arsenic

- Rn-222

- radionuclides

- copper

- nickel

- phenol

- zinc and zinc oxides