Environmental Laws: Summaries of Major Statutes Administered by the Environmental Protection Agency [October 8, 2010] [open pdf - 832KB]
"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 to consolidate numerous federal pollution control responsibilities that had been divided among several federal agencies. EPA's responsibilities grew over time as Congress enacted an increasing number of environmental statutes and major amendments to these statutes. EPA's primary responsibilities include the regulation of air quality, water quality, and chemicals in commerce; the development of regulatory criteria for the management and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes; and the cleanup of environmental contamination. EPA also provides financial assistance to states and local governments to aid them in administering pollution control programs and in complying with certain federal environmental requirements. Several federal statutes provide the legal authority for EPA's programs and activities. The major provisions of each of the following statutes are briefly summarized in this report, as laid out in existing law as of this writing. […] This report focuses primarily on EPA's program authorities under the statutes discussed herein. A list of major amendments to the parent statute is provided at the beginning of each chapter. The final table in each chapter lists the individual provisions of the statute, cross-referencing the sections of the public laws to the United States Code, where each provision is codified. The following summaries outline the major provisions of each statute. For the purpose of brevity, the summaries omit certain details and secondary provisions that would necessitate a lengthier examination. Certain prominent provisions are only briefly mentioned, which are beyond the scope of the summaries provided herein. Moreover, this report provides an analytical summary of the major provisions of the statutes, but does not examine issues associated with their implementation or with regulations that EPA may have promulgated to carry out these statutes. Other CRS [Congressional Research Service] reports offer information on current developments and issues associated with the implementation of various statutory authorities of EPA."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30798
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