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Environmental Law - Environmental Law o Environmental...

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Environmental Law o Environmental Protection Agency Congress created the EPA (Environmental Protection Act) in 1970 to coordinate the implementation and enforcement of the federal environment protections laws California – has the strictest laws concerning environment protection Texas & other oil producing states have the least on environment law o Clean Air Act of 1963 – focused on air pollution between states and gave the states federal assistance in fighting air pollution. Have been amended many times in 1970,1977, and recently in 1990 during the Bush administration These amendments have strengthened the federal governments authority to regulate air pollution Federal government regulates from two sources: Mobile sources – primary source of pollution is from automobiles o Specifying pollution standards and the time schedules to meet standards o Emission standards – set by EPA for automobile, trucks, buses, boats, and airplanes o Leaded gasoline was prohibited in 1995, now is replaced by super unleaded gasoline that has higher octane o CAA attempts to update its standard whenever new scientific information becomes available Stationary sources o EPA has set standards – national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). NAAQS protects at two different levels: Primary level – protect human beings Secondary level – protect vegetation, climate, visibility, property, and economic values Specific standards set for: Lead Carbon monoxide Ozone Nitrogen oxide Sulfur oxide = acid rain States have the responsibility to enforce these standards, if they do not then the federal government has the right to enforce these standards States enforce these standards through preparing a state implementation plan (SIP)
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Dirty air area – nonattainment area Clean air area – Stationary sources of air pollution are generally required to install pollution control devices to control air pollution (at own expense) Reasonable Available Control Technology (RACT) – normally required for existing stationary sources Best Available Control Technology (BACT) – for new stationary sources (more expensive usually) Toxic air pollutants o Serious illness or even death to human beings o Some toxic air pollutants: Asbestos Mercury Benzene Radionuclide o The EPA requires standards for emitting these chemicals – Maximum achievable control technology (MACT) to control emission (can be extremely expensive) Indoor pollution o The EPA estimates that the air inside a building is 10 times more polluted than outside air o Radon gas is a problem primarily in homes (4 to 10 million) homes have high level of radon gas o Radon gas causes up to 20,000 deaths each year o Clean Water Act River and Harbor Act in 1886 – established a permit system for the discharge of refuse, wastes and sewage into navigable waterways of the U.S.
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