Environmental Politics and Policy
Research Paper Topics


The purpose of the three paper assignments for this class is to help you develop an expertise in the politics and policy of one particular U.S. environmental policy. First, you need to select an environmental policy area. I have compiled a list of important environmental legislation from various sources (see below). It is not comprehensive since there are many changes to environmental policy buried in Budget Bills, Continuing Resolutions, and other broad legislation.

The National Resource Defense Council has a list of major federal laws here.

The EPA's list of major environmental legislation is here. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) home page which lists all the various topics into broad categories at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/topics.html

The Fish and Wildlife Service has a list of federal resource laws here. Most are fairly minor, but not all.

The Congressional Research Service blog also a nice list of laws administered by the EPA here and environmental legislation, energy legislation, agriculture legislation, and transportation legislation. They discuss current environmental issues in the context of existing legislation.

 

List of Major U.S. Federal Environmental Legislation

1970 National Environmental Policy Act

1972 Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act

1972 Ocean Dumping Act

1973 Endangered Species Act

1974 Safe Drinking Water Act

1974 Shoreline Erosion Control Demonstration Act

1975 Hazardous Materials Transportation Act

1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

1976 Toxic Substances Control Act

1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act

 2006 Amendments to SMCRA 

1978 Uranium Mill-Tailings Radiation Control Act

1980 Asbestos School Hazard Detection and Control Act

1980 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act

1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act

1984 Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Act

1986 Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act

1986 Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act

1988 Indoor Radon Abatement Act

1988 Lead Contamination Control Act

1988 Medical Waste Tracking Act

1988 Ocean Dumping Ban Act

1988 Shore Protection Act

1970 Clean Air Act

1972 Consumer Product Safety Act

1972 Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act

1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act

1972 Noise Control Act

1972 Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act

1972 Costal Zone Management Act

1973 Endangered Species Act

1974 Safe Drinking Water Act

1974 Strip Mining Act

1976 Toxic Substances Control Act

1976 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

1976 Solid Waste Disposal Act

1977 Clean Air Act Amendments

1977 Clean Water Act Amendments

1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act

1980 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Superfund)

1984 Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments

1986 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments

1986 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act

1987 Clean Water Act Reauthorization

1989 North American Wetlands Conservation Act

1990 Oil Pollution Act

1990 Pollution Prevention Act

1990 Clean Air Act Amendments

1992 Energy Policy Act

Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972,

The Clean Water Act (CWA) (1977)

The Clean Water Act (CWA) (1987)

The Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) (1986)

National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA)

Chemical Safety Information, Site Security and Fuels Regulatory Relief Act Public Law 1999

The Endangered Species Act (1973)

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

Florida Everglades Restoration (1996?ish)

Wildlife and Endangered species
Lacey Act, 1900
Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 1918
Migratory Bird Conservation Act, 1929
Fish & Wildlife Coordination Act, 1934
Endangered Species Preservation Act, 1966
Endangered Species Conservation Act, 1969
Marine Mammal Protection Act,1972
Endangered Species Act, 1973; Amds, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1988

--some of the amendments are particularly interesting

Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Restoration Act 1990

The 2009 Continuing Budget Resolution that includes a provision to strip federal protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies/Amend the ESA

Commercial Fishing

Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996
Magnuson–Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006


Air
Air Quality Act, 1960, 1967
Clean Air Act, 1963; Amds, 1970, 1977, 1990,
Water
Water Pollution Act, 1948
Water Pollution Control Act (Amds), 1956
Water Quality Act, 1965
Clean Water Restoration Act, 1966
Water Quality Improvement Act, 1970
Federal Water Poll. Control Act (Amds) 1972
Safe Drinking Water Act, 1974
Clean Water Act, 1977
Federal Water Poll. Control Act (Amds) 1977
Solid & Hazardous wastes
Solid Waste Disposal Act, 1965
Resource Recovery Act, 1970
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 1976
Comprehensive Env. Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA), 1980
Hazardous and Solid Waste Amds, 1984
Superfund Amds and Reauthorization Act, 1986
Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, 1986

Nuclear Energy
Atomic Energy Act, 1946
Atomic Energy Act, 1954
Price Anderson Act, 1957
Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, 1963
Energy Reorganization Act, 1974
Nuclear Waste Policy Act, 1982; Amds 1987
Pesticides & Toxics
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), 1972; Amds 1988
Toxic Substances Control Act, 1976
Environmental Pesticide Control Act, 1978

Noise
Noise Control Act, 1972
Quiet Communities Act, 1978
Forests, Parks & Land Use
Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act, 1960
Wilderness Act, 1964

National Forest Management Act (1976)

Eastern Wilderness Areas Act, 1975

Endangered American Wilderness Act (1978)  

Colorado Wilderness Act (1980)
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 1971
Land Use Policy Act, 1974
Strip Mining Act, 1974
National Parks and Recreation Act, 1978
National Forest Management Act, 1976
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, 1977
Alaskan National Interest Lands Conservation Act, 1980

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act of 1978

Central Idaho Wilderness Act of 1980

Washington Wilderness Act of 1984
-any federal wilderness designation legislation such as the

2002 California Wild Heritage Act or the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Act

Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act 2000

Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/Communications_Directorate/legislation.Par.32579.File.dat/HR146enrolledbill.pdf

-any Wild and Scenic Rivers designation legislation, see for example the

Wild and Scenic Rivers legislation

President George Bush

Clear Skies Legislation

Health Forest Initiative

National Defense Authorization Act of 2004 

Clear Skies legislation

Energy Policy Act of 2005

Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act 2005 SAFETEA-L

 2006 Amendments to Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act ?

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

Barack Obama
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) (cap and trade legislation, passes House)

 

 

There are also a number of other pieces of legislation which are not environmental, but have significant environmental implications.

The Farm Bill- an omnibus piece of legislation renewed every 5 years which addresses a wide array of agriculture related issues

  1. Food Security Act of 1985
  2. Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990
  3. Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996
  4. Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002
  5. Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008

 

The Transportation Bill- an omnibus piece of legislation which addresses a wide array of agriculture related issues

Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987

 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (Ice-T)

 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21

 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

 

Water Resources Development Act are omnibus pieces of legislation that deal with water resources issues: environmental, structural, navigational, flood protection, hydrology, etc The often allocate money for dams, flood, navigation, wildlife, and shoreline protection issues. No one has written about one of these laws yet.

 Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004

 

 Water Resources Development Act of 2007

The Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 

 

Environmental Justice

EO 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

- this is not a law, but an executive order. You can write a paper about how and why attempt to pass a law failed and the Executive Order resulted.

Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act

Radiation Exposure Compensation Act,

-both laws address the exposures of Navajo to uranium mining; they have an EJ flavor; see here