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Section J: Other Environmental/Historic Preservation Laws


The Clean Air Act (CAA) – The CAA is the comprehensive Federal law that regulates air emissions from area, stationary, and mobile sources. This law authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and the environment. The goal of the Act was to set and achieve NAAQS in every state by 1975. The setting of maximum pollutant standards was coupled with directing the states to develop state implementation plans (SIP's) applicable to appropriate industrial sources in the state. The 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act in large part were intended to meet unaddressed or insufficiently addressed problems such as acid rain, ground-level ozone, stratospheric ozone depletion, and air toxics. Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) - Congress passed the Occupational and Safety Health Act to ensure worker and workplace safety. Their Goal was to make sure employers provide their workers a place of employment free from recognized hazards to safety and health, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, excessive noise levels, mechanical dangers, heat or cold stress, or unsanitary conditions. OSHA is regulated by the U.S. Department of Labor that oversees the administration of the Act and enforces standards in all 50 states. The Safe Water Drinking Act - The Safe Drinking Water Act was established to protect the quality of drinking water in the United States. This law focuses on all waters actually or potentially designed for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources. The Act authorized EPA to establish safe standards of purity and required all owners or operators of public water systems to comply with primary (health-related) standards. State governments, which assume this power from EPA, also encourage attainment of secondary standards (nuisance- related).

The Wilderness Act Congress enacted the Wilderness Act (P.L. 88-577) in 1964 to establish a National Wilderness Preservation System of federal lands "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." The Wilderness Act generally prohibits commercial activities, motorized access, and infrastructure developments in congressionally designated areas.

Executive Order (EO) 12699: Seismic Safety of Federal and Federally Assisted or Regulated New Construction EO 12699 requires that all new federally owned, leased, assisted, and other regulated buildings be designed and constructed in accordance with the appropriate seismic standards. The Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction (ICSSC) has recommended the use of building codes which are substantially equivalent to the 1997 National Earthquake hazards Reduction Program Provisions for the Development of Seismic Regulations for New Buildings (NEHRP Provisions).

Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks Environmental health and safety risks disproportionately affect children. From pesticides in schools and playgrounds to nitrates in the water, children are at increased risk for a variety of adverse health effects such as developmental delays and asthma. The 1997 Presidential Executive Order on the Protection of Children to Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks states that each Federal agency shall make it a high priority to identify and assess these risks.

Historic Preservation

American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 (AIRFA) - express and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites. If a place of religious importance to American Indians may be affected by an undertaking, AIRFA promotes consultation with Indian religious practitioners, which may be coordinated with Section 106 consultation. Amendments to Section 101 of NHPA in 1992 strengthened the interface between AIRFA and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) by clarifying that:

Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 – regulates

Executive Order 13007: Indian Sacred Sites

Executive Order 13061: American Heritage Rivers

Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990

Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) projects must also apply to state and local laws as well. These are laws, regulations, and ordinances that you would need to comply with if you were initiating the project yourself. To assist with identifying and complying with state laws and regulations, many states have environmental review clearinghouses which coordinate environmental reviews with the various state agencies. About half of the states have clearinghouses. .

Section J: Other Environmental/Historic Preservation Laws: (PDF 170KB, TXT 14KB)

Last Updated: 
04/23/2015 - 17:24