Environment—USA—Q&A guide
Environment—USA—Q&A guide

The following Environment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environment—USA—Q&A guide
  • 1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to the environment?
  • 2. Is there a system of integrated control of pollution?
  • 3. What are the main characteristics of the rules applicable to soil pollution?
  • 4. What types of waste are regulated and how?
  • 5. What are the main features of the rules governing air emissions?
  • 6. How are fresh water and seawater, and their associated land, protected?
  • 7. What are the main features of the rules protecting natural spaces and landscapes?
  • 8. What are the main features of the rules protecting flora and fauna species?
  • 9. What are the main features of the rules governing noise, odours and vibrations?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to environment in USA published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: September 2020).

Authors: Beveridge & Diamond PC—James M. Auslander; Andrew C. Silton; Ryan J. Carra; Nicole B. Weinstein

1. What are the main statutes and regulations relating to the environment?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the umbrella procedural statute that requires federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of their actions.

Several substantive statutes are media-specific:

  1. the Clean Air Act (CAA) regulates air quality and emissions;

  2. the Clean Water Act (CWA) regulates water quality and discharges;

  3. the Safe Drinking Water Act establishes drinking water standards for tap water and underground injection rules;

  4. the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates hazardous and solid waste management;

  5. the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (also known as Superfund) addresses remediation of legacy disposal sites and release reporting; and

  6. the Oil Pollution Act provides for oil spill prevention and response.

Other statutes are resource-specific. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) protects listed endangered and threatened species and critical habitat. Other statutes protect certain species, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Other statutes govern natural resource planning and development on federal lands onshore and on the Outer Continental Shelf, including:

  1. the

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