There are a goodly number of laws that deal with environmental protection in the United States. The primary focus of this web site is on laws affecting business and industry. Not all environmental laws affecting business and industry are included in this survey; however, in addition to the laws featured with their own "buttons", the following laws are important in many specific situations:
The Toxic Substances Control Act regulates the manufacture and distribution of chemicals in commerce. It requires premanufacture notification (PMN) of any chemical that is not already in the EPA's inventory list. EPA then gives public notice of the filed PMN and commences a review. The process can be expensive for a manufacturer, as well as time consuming. The EPA determines whether the substance poses "unreasonable" health or environmental risks. If so, it may limit or even ban production. Companies involved with chemical processes but not wishing to be involved with TSCA reviews need to assure themselves that products they ship in commerce are either already listed or exempt from registration.
TSCA also is important for its ban on the distribution and use of PCBs. The PCB regulation under TSCA is unusual for its singularity of target, but that is reflective to the wide popular reaction to the determination that PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, could be carcinogenic. PCBs were widely used in numerous industrial and utility applications. Under TSCA, there are cleanup standards specific to PCBs depending on the setting in which they are found.
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act deals with the registration and proper application of chemicals used to control weeds, insects, germs and pests. With limited exceptions, commercial applicators must be trained and licensed. Products sold over the counter must be labeled accurately as to use and warnings.
The Safe Drinking Water Act is a very important law, because it deals with assuring that public water and water supplies are safe. Under this law, EPA sets maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for substances commonly found in drinking water. This law bans the installation of lead pipes and solder in public water systems or in plumbing for residential buildings. Regulations under this law apply even to individual companies or private systems where more than 15 connections exist or 25 or more people are served year-round.