Important Environmental Laws

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River Dirtied with PlasticThere are a wide array of federal laws and regulations that deal with protecting the environment, all of which can lead to serious consequences if you or your business is found to be in violation of them.

If ever this occurs to someone you know and they are taken to jail pending a trial, it’s possible for them be released from jail until the trial takes place by making use of the bail bonds process.

With the assistance of a bail bonding agency, it’s possible to make a financial arrangement with the court for the defendant to be released until the trial date. This arrangement is made in exchange for a small portion of money or collateral to the bail bonds company. It’s possible to avoid these issues altogether by paying attention to the major federal environmental protection laws.

The Clean Air and Clean Water Acts

The Clean Air Act was first passed in 1970 and later amended in 1990 in order to regulate air emissions from a wide range of different sources. This specific law is directly enforced by the EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency. The amendments made to this bill in 1990 addressed some of the issues that were found with the original law since its inception in 1970, focusing primarily on air toxins and ozone depletion.

The Clean Water Act is similar in nature and was first put into law in 1977. The act makes it a crime for any person or business to discharge a pollutant from a single source point into navigable waters unless they’ve first received permission directly from the EPA. In 1987, additional amendments were made that focused on toxic pollutants as well as sewage treatment plants.

CERCLA and EPCRA Laws

The CERCLA act is known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and was introduced in 1980. This law specifically addresses how the release of pollutants and waste from sources like hazardous waste sites, spills, and accidents should be handled in order to keep the pollutants from doing too much damage to the environment. This law created a sizable federal fund that provides the resources necessary to clean up and contain any such pollutants in these cases. If a business or person is responsible for the spilling or abandonment of these hazardous materials, this fund also allows the EPA to track down the parties responsible and have them provide assistance with the clean up efforts.

The EPCRA, or the Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act, was created in 1986 and is designed to offer both assistance and resources to local communities for the protection of public health, the environment, and safety from any chemical hazards. Through this law, each state is required to maintain a State Emergency Response Commission, while each district within that state must maintain a Local Emergency Planning Committee to deal with chemical hazards that threaten the safety and well-being of the public.

Endangered Species and Pollution Prevention Acts

The Endangered Species Act is meant specifically to protect plants and animals that have become endangered. Passed in 1973, this law has provided the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior with the means of maintaining a list of around 600 unique plant and animal species that are classified as endangered. Any activity that is deemed to have an adverse effect on a species that’s found on that list is illegal and can result in hefty penalties for any person or company that’s responsible for such an act.

The Pollution Prevention Act was created in 1990 and focuses on reducing how much pollution is in the environment by targeting the usage, production, and operation of raw materials by both the government and private industry. While many of the other federal environmental laws that deal with pollution focus on cleaning it up once it enters the environment, this law is aimed at preventing it entirely. Recycling is a major component of the Pollution Prevention Act.

These are just some of the major federal environmental laws that you or your business should be aware of so that you can avoid breaking the law, which will invariably lead to strict penalties.