Federal Environmental laws protects Federal States. .e.g. in USA
What is the aim of Wilderness Act of USA?
Early attempts by Congress to enact laws affecting the environment included the "Antiquities Act" in 1906, the "National Park Service Act" in 1916, the "Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide" Act in 1947 and the "Water Pollution Control Act" in 1956. The "Wilderness Act" of 1964, protected large areas of pristine federal lands from development and ushered in the new age of environmental activism that began in the 1960's.
However, it was the "National Environmental Policy Act" (NEPA) enacted in 1969 and the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970 that started environmental legislation in earnest.
Many consider the "National Environmental Policy Act" NEPA to be the most far-reaching environmental legislation ever passed by Congress. The basic purpose of NEPA is to force governmental agencies to comprehensively consider the effects of their decisions on the environment. This is effected by requiring agencies to prepare detailed Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for proposed projects.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the government's environmental watchdog. It is charged with monitoring and analyzing the state of the environment, conducting research, and working closely with state and local governments to devise pollution control policies. The EPA is also empowered to enforce those environmental policies.
Unfortunately, the agency is sometimes caught up in conflicts between the public wanting more regulation for environmental reasons and businesses wanting less regulation for economic reasons. Consequently, the development of a new regulation can take many years.
Since 1970, Congress has enacted several important environmental laws, all of which include provisions to protect the environment and natural resources. Some of the more notable laws include:
The Federal Clean Air Act (1970, 1977 & 1990) established national standards for regulating the emission of pollutants from stationary and mobile sources.
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (1972) amended by the Clean Water Act (1977,
1987), established water quality standards; provides for the regulation of the discharge of pollutants into navigable waters and for the protection of wetlands.
The Federal Safe Drinking Water Act (1974, 1977 & 1986) set drinking water standards for levels of pollutants; authorizing the regulation of the discharge of pollutants into underground drinking water sources.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (1976) provided for the regulation of chemical substances by the EPA and the safety testing of new chemicals.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976) established cradle-to-grave regulations for the handling of hazardous wastes.
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (1980), also known as the Superfund program, provided for the cleanup of the worst toxic waste sites.
The Food Security Act (1985, 1990) later amended by the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (1996), discouraged cultivation of environmentally sensitive lands, especially wetlands, and authorized incentives for farmers to withdraw highly erodible lands from production.