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Huron Portland Cement Co. v. City of Detroit

Early Pollution Regulations

Major pollution regulation is administered by the federal government in cooperation with the states. Efforts to regulate pollution began before World War II. Early pollution regulation focused on preserving clean air and drinking water. The rapid increase of industrial output in the United States brought on greater challenges for the environment in such areas as hazardous waste disposal, ozone depletion, climate change, chemical plant accidents, and medical waste.

In the 1970s the federal government began to take a lead role in environmental law. Earth Day of 1970 was the symbolic starting point of federal involvement pollution regulation, though regulation began in the 1940s. There have been roughly nine major laws enacted to regulate pollution, beginning with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (1947). Other major legislation enacted to regulate pollution includes: the Water Pollution Control Act (1948); Air Pollution Control Act (1955); National Environmental Policy Act (1970); the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974); Toxic Substances Control Act (1976); and the Pollution Prevention Act (1990). There have also been hundreds of minor regulatory laws adopted to control pollution.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962Huron Portland Cement Co. v. City of Detroit - Significance, Hand-fired Boilers And Coal Smoke, Regulating Interstate Commerce, "at War With The Federal License"