Environmental Legislation, Regulations, and Standards: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • Society of Safety Engineers

  • Created by Presidential Executive Order

  • Richard M. Nixon, 2 December 1970

    • One of the first times an agency was not created by an "Act"

    • Placed directly in the Executive Branch (i.e. reports to OMB)

    • Assumed activities of the former Environmental Health Service

Environmental Protection Agency
Organizational Structure

  • Administrator

  • -Heads EPA. Appointed by the President with Senate confirmation

  • Three Associate Administrators

  • -Office of Regional Operations and State/Local Relations ->Serves as link between Federal EPA and regional administrators

  • Office of Communication and Public Affairs

  • -Liaison between the public sector and the EPA

  • Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs

  • -Ensures coordination between EPA and Congress

  • Organizational Structure

  • Office of the Inspector General

  • -Audits and investigates EPA, reports deficiencies related to EPA operations to the Administrator and to Congress

  • Office of the General Counsel

  • -Legal advisor to the Administrator and provides legal services

  • Office of the Chief Financial Officer

  • -Manages budget of $7.76 billion (2005)

  • Organizational Structure

  • Nine Operational Offices (headed by Assistant Administrators)

    • Administration and Resources Management

    • Enforcement

    • Environmental Information

    • Research and Development

    • International Activities

    • Pesticides and Toxic Substances

    • Air and Radiation

    • Solid Waste and Emergency Response

    • Water

  • Environmental Protection Agency

  • USEPA Regions (available in full paper).

  • Enforcement of Environmental Policy

  • Three Basic Levels of Violation

  • -Negligent violations

  • The violator was openly negligent regarding the law

  • -Knowing violations

  • Occurred with full knowledge and no attempt to prevent it

  • -Knowing endangerment violations

  • Violations allowed to occur, with full knowledge, that impose a threat of death or serious bodily injury

Enforcement of Environmental Policy

  • Fines and Penalties-Differ, depending on the regulation or Act under violation

  • Ex: Fines under CWA differ from those under RCRA

  • -Civil fines generally range from a low of $5500 to $32,500 per day per violation

  • -Maximum fine against individuals can be $250,000, 15 years in jail

  • Government can establish criminal liabilities against any employee, regardless of position in company

Regulatory Overview

A Brief Look at Major Environmental Regulations

  • National Environmental Policy Act of 1970

  • Clean Air Act (and Amendments)

  • Clean Water Act

  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976

  • Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976

  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liabilities Act of 1980

  • Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986


Basic Provisions

  • Applicable to Federal Agencies and their employees

  • Establishes National Policy

  • Sets obtainable goals

  • Provides means for implementing and enforcing policy

Purpose and Objectives
  • Inject environmental consideration into federal agency decisions

  • Inform public that a federal agency has considered environmental concerns in its decision making

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