(Chapter 4) Environmental Policy and Regulation
environmental policy
a statement made by an organization of its intentions and principles in relation to its overall environmental performance. Provides a framework for action and for the setting of its environmental objectives and target.
principles of environmental policy development
1. precautionary principle
2. environmental justice
3. environmental sustainability
4. polluter pays principle
precautionary principle
preventative, anticipatory measures should be taken when an activity raises threats of harm to the environment, wildlife, or human health, even if some cause-and-effect relationships are not fully established
environmental justice
–equal treatment of all people in society irrespective of their racial background, country of origin, and socioeconomic status
adheres to the viewpoint that a strong, just, and wealthy society can be consistent with a clean environment, healthy ecosystems, and a beautiful planet
polluter pays
the polluter should bear the expenses of carrying out the pollution prevention and control measures to ensure that the environment is in an acceptable state
environmental policy cycle
policy definition/formulation/reformulation –> agenda setting –> policy establishment –> policy implementation –> assess policy
cost-benefit analysis
balancing of economic and other costs with health and societal benefits that may accrue through specific policy alternatives
risk management
adoption of steps to eliminate identified risks or lower them to acceptable levels (often as determined by a government agency that has taken into account input from the public)
World Health Organization (WHO)
–major international agency that is responsible for environmental health at the global level
–provides leadership in minimizing adverse environmental health outcomes associated with pollution, industrial development, and related issues
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
–established July, 1970 in response to growing demand for cleaner water, air, and land
–develops and enforces regulations that implement environmental laws enacted by Congress
National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
–federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness
–created in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
–part of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) organized in 1985
–located in Atlanta, Georgia
–mission: use the best science, take responsive action, and provide trustworthy health information to prevent and mitigate harmful exposures to toxic substances and related diseases
National Institute of Environmental Health Science (NIEHS)
–one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
–home to the National Toxicology Program (NTP)
–Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
–Mission: reduce the burden of human illness and disability, by understanding how the environment influences the development and progression of human disease”
–fund research science through grant programs
Chemical Laws (Federal)
–Clean Air Act (1963)
–Clean Water Act (1972)
–Toxic Substances Control Act (1976)
–Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA, 1947)
–Comprehensive Environmental Recovery, Compensation, and Liability Act (1980)
–Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976)
Clean Air Act of 1963
–amended in 1967, re-passed in 1970, amended again in 1977, 1990
–reducing ambiennt levels of pollutants that cause smog
–reducing emissions of hazardous air pollutants (HAP)
–phase out production of ozone-depleting chemicals
–point and nonpoint, stationary and mobile sources
criteria pollutants
1. particulate matter
2. ozone
3. CO
4. Pb
5. NOx
6. SOx
Clean Water Act of 1972
–amended 1977, 1987
–research programs, POTW construction
–standards and enforcement: WQS, TMDL, inventory, thermal pollution
–NPDES: Stormwater and industrial discharges
Safe Drinking Water Act
–passed in 1974, amended in 1996
–minimum standards for DW quality
–consumer confidence reports (public information/consultation)
–protection against microbial contaminants
–source water assessment
–enacted in 1980 in response to Love Canal and Times Beach
–provides for abandoned toxic waste sites
Toxicology and CERCLA
1. risk assessment
2. hazard identification
3. exposure assessment
4. dose-response assessment
5. risk characterization
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976)
–EPA controls hazardous waste from the “cradle-to-grave”. This includes the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.
–addresses environmental problems from underground storage tanks containing petroleum and other hazardous substances
–RCRA focuses only on active and future facilities and does not address abandoned or historical sites
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act of 1996
–provides federal control of pesticide distribution, sale, and use
–gives EPA authority to conduct research on pesticide usage
–requires users to register when purchasing pesticides
–all pesticides must be registered by the EPA
–pesticides must be properly labeled
Toxic Substances Control Act
–chemicals used in commerce
–passed in 1976
–exempted most “existing chemicals” – TSCA Inventory (75,000)
–New chemicals: pre-manufacture notice (PMN)
–control of toxic substances (regulation of PCBs), asbestos hazard emergency response, indoor radon abatement, lead exposure reduction
Goals of REACH
1. toxicity and exposure information on commercial chemicals
2. foster innovation in development of substitutes for dangerous substances
3. centralize and harmonize classification systems
4. reduce need for animal testing
5. reduce duplication in testing
6. provide information on risk to the public
7. alleviate disease associated with exposure to chemicals
4 pillars of REACH
1. registration (all chemicals manufactured or imported must be registered)
2. evaluation (review of registration dossiers and hazards of chemical use)
3. authorization (some uses may have to be authorized)
4. restriction (use of chemical is banned, like PCBs and asbestos)
labeling of chemicals
globally harmonized system (GHS) of classification and labeling (Classification, labeling, and packaging)
Endangered Species Act
–provides a program for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals and the habitats in which they are found
–the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains the list of 632 endangered species and 190 threatened species
–NOAA is co-lead agency
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