Health, Safety & Environmental Statutes and Summaries

Clean Air Act (CAA)

The 1970 CAA (“CAA”) [the 1970 CAA was technically an amendment of the 1963 CAA] and its amendments, including the CAA Amendments of 1990 (“CAAA”), are designed to “protect and enhance the nation's air resources so as to promote the public health and welfare and the productive capacity of the population.” the CAAA consists of eleven sections, known as Titles, which direct the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to establish national standards for ambient air quality and for EPA and the States to implement, maintain, and enforce these standards through a variety of mechanisms. State and local governments oversee, manage, and enforce many of the requirements of the CAAA.

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Clean Water Act

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 was the first major U.S. law to address water pollution. Growing public awareness and concern for controlling water pollution led to sweeping amendments in 1972. Specifically, the Refuse Act Cases became an impetus for adopting the legislation.

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Resource Conservation & Recovery Act

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) was enacted in 1976 to address municipal and industrial solid waste generated nationwide. After several amendments, the Act as it stands today governs the management of solid and hazardous waste and underground storage tanks (“USTs”).

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Occupational Safety & Health Act

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”) of 1970 created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to help employers and employees reduce injuries, illnesses and deaths on the job in America. Since then, workplace fatalities have been cut by more than 60 percent and occupational injury and illness rates have declined 40 percent. At the same time, U.S. employment has more than doubled and now includes over 115 million workers at 7.2 million worksites.

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