United States
Environmental Protection
Office of
Public Affairs
OPA 001-89
February 1989

1 History and Organization
of EPA
3 Clean Water
5 Safe Drinking Water
7 Clean Air
8 Global Atmospheric
11 Protecting the Land
16 Pesticides
18 Toxic Substances
21 Radiation
23 Research and
25 Pollution Prevention
27 Enforcement of
Environmental Laws
28 Appendix 1: EPA
Regional Offices
30 Appendix 2: EPA
Research Facilities

 Our Environment has been threatened
 for many decades by human activities
 undertaken without regard for their
 effects on the life-sustaining,
 economic, and recreational value of
 the air, land, and water. To protect
 and restore the quality of these
 essential and irreplaceable resources,
 Congress enacted a series of laws
 which have brought about significant
 environmental improvements, though
 many challenging problems remain.
   The U.S. Environmental Protection
 Agency (EPA) is responsible for
 implementing the federal laws
 designed to  protect the environment.
 Questions and decisions concerning
 air, water, and land affect nearly every
 aspect of our lives. As our
 understanding of environmental issues
 has grown, so have EPA's
 responsibilities. This booklet describes
 how EPA is addressing the major
 environmental problems that confront
 our nation.

Region 2
J New York
Office of Water
Regulations and Standards
Office of
Ground-Water Protection
Office of
Drinking Water
Office of Municipal
Pollution Control
Office of Water
Enforcement and Permits
Office of Marine
and Estuarine Protection
Office of
Wetlands Protection
Assistant Administrator
for Enforcement and
Compliance Monitoring
Air Enforcement
Wafer Enforcement
Hazardous Waste
National Enforcement
lnvestigation Center
Pesticide and
Toxic Substances
Assistant Administrator
for Solid Waste and
Emergency Response
Office of
Solid Waste
Office of Emergency
and Remedial Response
Office of Waste
Programs Enforcement
Office of Underground
Storage Tanks
Region 3
Region 4
Region 5
Associate Administrator
for International Activities
General Counsel
Air and Radiation
Pesticides and
Toxic Substances
Solid Waste and
Emergency Response
Inspector General
Grants, Contracts,
and General
Region 6
Office of
Policy Analysis
Office of
Standards and
Off ice of
Management Systems
and Evaluation
Pollution Prevention
Assistant Administrator
for Pesticides and
Toxic Substances
Office of
Pesticide Programs
Office of
Toxic Substances
Office of
Compliance Monitoring
Region 7
Kansas City
Deputy Administrator
Staff Offices
Administrative Law
Civi Rights
Small and Disadvantaged
Business Utilization
Science Advisory Board
Office of Cooperative
Environmental Management
Assistant Administrator
for Administration and
Resources Management
Associate Administrator
for Regional Operations
Assistant Administrator
for Policy, Planning,
and Evaluation
Office of
the Comptroller
Office of
Office of
Information Resources
Office of
Human Resources
Management. RTP
Office of Administration
and Resources
Cincinnati. OH
Assistant Administrator
for Water
Assistant Administrator
for Air and Radiation
Office of Ar Ouality
Planning and Standards.
Office of
Mobile Sources
Office of
Radiation Programs
Office of
Atmospheric and
Indoor Air Programs
Region 1
j Denver

History and Organization of EPA
Assistant Administrator
for External Affairs
Assistant Administrator
tr Research and
Inspector General
The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency was created through an
Executive reorganization plan designed
to consolidate a number of federal
environmental activities into a single
agency. The plan (Reorganization Plan
#3 of 1970) was sent to Congress by
President Nixon on July 9, 1970, and
EPA was formally established as an
independent agency in the Executive
Branch on December 2, 1970.
EPA was formed by bringing
together 15 components from five
Executive departments and
independent agencies. Air pollution
control, solid waste management,
radiation control, and the drinking
water program were transferred from
the Department of Health, Education,
and Welfare (now the Department of
Health and Human Services). The
federal water pollution control
program was taken from the
Department of the Interior, as was
part of a pesticide research program.
From the Department of Agriculture,
EPA acquired authority to register
pesticides and to regulate their use,
and from the Food and Drug
Administration inherited the
responsibility to set tolerance levels for
pesticides in food. EPA was assigned
some responsibility for setting
environmental radiation protection
standards from the old Atomic Energy
Commission, and absorbed the duties
of the Federal Radiation Council.
The enactment of major new
environmental laws and important
amendments to older laws in the 1970s
and SOs greatly expanded EPA ’s
responsibilities. The Agency now
administers nine comprehensive
environmental protection laws: the
Clean Air Act (CAA); the Clean Water
Act (CWA); the Safe Drinking Water
Act (SDWA): the Comprehensive
Environmental Response,
Compensation, and Liability Act
(CERCLA, or “Superfund”); the
Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act (RCRA); the Federal Insecticide,
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act
(FIFRA); the Toxic Substances Control
Act (TSCA); the Marine Protection,
Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA);
and the Uranium Mill Tailings
Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA).
The Agency is directed by an
Administrator and a Deputy
Administrator, who are appointed by
the President with the advice and
consent of the Senate. Nine Assistant
Administrators, who manage specific
environmental programs or direct
other Agency functions, the Agency’s
General Counsel, and its Inspector
General also are named by the
President and subject to Senate
confirmation. Ten Regional
Administrators across the country
cooperate closely with state and local
governments to make sure that
regional needs are considered and that
federal environmental laws are
properly implemented. (Appendix I
lists these regional offices.) The
Agency’s executive staff includes
Associate Administrators for
International Activities and Regional
Operations. The chart shows how EPA
is organized.
Office of
Community and
Office of
Congressional Liaison
Office of
Public Affairs
Office of
Federal Activities
Office of
Legislative Analysis
Office of
Acid Deposition.
Environmental Monitoring
and Quality Assurance
Office of
Environmental Engineering
and Technology
Office of
Environmental Processes
and Effects Research
Office of
Health Research
Office of Health and
8 Region 9
— J San Francisco
Region 10

__ *
_ - — - - ‘S -
“I.— - - : •. ‘ ‘ ? .*‘\ j
_ -
- )
- a .- ‘ _ ,.; !
-4. -. - . - -
— —, 4 — - — -
h% - . - -
— — — -
‘ - . . -— -.. - . -.
; ‘_ -
- - ; ‘ -
d 4
- - _ -t__ ‘- _____ ____
! — - z - - _____
‘ t ç
. ‘ : __ __
- ‘z: —- — - .- -III- —
¶ • :
- _
-.- - ‘- - -- ‘ -

Clean Water
Oceans, rivers, streams, lakes,
estuaries, underground aquifers, and
wetlands are essential, in one way or
another, to a ll forms of life, and play a
central role in much of our economic
activity and recreation.
These functions have been seriously
threatened by the long-standing use of
natural bodies of water as dumping
places for human and industrial
wastes, by the destruction of major
parts of water systems such as
wetlands, and by poor land-
management practices that choke
waters with sediment and poison them
with toxic pollutants.
Water pollution has two major
origins: point sources and non point
sources. Point sources are specific
points of discharge, such as outfall
pipes from industrial facilities or
sewage treatment plants. Nonpoint
sources, on the other hand, cannot be
located so precisely. Unchanneled
runoff from city streets, from
construction sites, and from farms and
mines are examples of nonpoint
sources. Both sources contribute
heavily to the pollution of our nation’s
Water has been polluted by many
kinds of substances. Some pollutants,
such as sewage from households, are
discharged in very large amounts.
Unless treated, sewage can overload
the natural capacity of water bodies to
cleanse themselves. Other pollutants,
toxic substances, can cause damage to
our waters, even in very small
The first federal legislation to protect
our waters from pollution was the
Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.
Congress enacted stronger legislation
in 1948, 1956, 1965, 1966, and 1970.
However, EPA’s current program of
water pollution control is based upon
the Federal Water Pollution Control
Act Amendments of 1972, also known
as the Clean Water Act. Amendments
passed in 1977, 1981, 1987, and 1988
made some important changes, but the
basic objectives and procedures of the
Clean Water Act remain.
The major objective of the Clean
Water Act is to restore and maintain
the “chemical, physical, and biological
integrity of the Nation’s waters.” The
Act seeks to secure “water quality
which provides for the protection and
propagation of fish, shellfish, and
wildlife, and provides for recreation in
and on the water.” Progress toward
this objective has required spending
billions of dollars and the control of
hundreds of thousands of water
pollution sources.
The Act requires each state to set
water quality standards for every
significant body of surface water
within its borders. Water quality
standards represent the goals which
pollution controls are meant to secure.
To set these standards, states specify
the uses of each body of water (such
as drinking water, recreation,
commercial fishing) and restrict
pollution to levels that permit those
To curb pollution from household
and commercial sewage, the Act
requires that all publicly owned
municipal sewage systems provide
secondary treatment (a bio-chemical
process) before wastewater is
Since few communities could afford
the facilities needed to provide such
treatment, Congress established a
financial assistance program of
cons truction grunts as part of the 1972
law. Under this program, EPA
provides funds to the states, which
allocate the money to local
communities to help finance new or
improved treatment facilities. During
the first 15 years of the program,
construction grants to the states
amounted to approximately $45 billion,
However, in 1977 and 1981 Congress
enacted amendments to the Clean
Water Act which required fundamental
changes in the construction grants
program. The 1977 amendments
required delegation of many program
responsibilities to the states. The 1981
amendments reduced the federal share
in funding facilities and continued the
transition from federal to state and
local responsibility for providing
municipal wastewater treatment
services. In 1987, amendments
addressed the phasing out of the
construction grants program by
providing for states to develop
alternative funding mechanisms. EPA
will develop and implement a program
to help capitalize state-operated
revolving loan funds for furthering
wastewater treatment programs. EPA’s
technical assistance to state and local
governments is expected to increase
and continue indefinitely.
The 1987 amendments also give EPA
and the states new responsibilities in
the regulation of toxics and sewage

sludge. The Congress also authorized
$400 million over four years for grants
to states for non-point source pollution
control activities. In 1988, another
amendment banned transporting and
dumping of potentially infectious
medical wastes in the nation’s
navigable waters.
To ensure that communities meet
treatment requirements, sewage
facilities must secure permits under
the National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (NPDES). The
permits specify the types and amounts
of pollutants that may be discharged.
Industries discharging pollutants
into waterways or publicly owned
sewage systems also are subject to
control requirements, with an ultimate
goal of completely eliminating the
discharge of pollutants into the
nation’s waters. Nationwide standards
are established by EPA for certain
categories of industries, with
requirements tailored to the availability
and economic feasibility of control
technology. These effluent limitations
will become increasingly stringent
through the 1980s, particularly for
discharges of toxic pollutants.
Like municipal dischargers,
industrial point source dischargers
must secure permits under the NPDES
program. Industries using public
sewage systems must meet pretreatment
standards designed to prevent the
discharge of pollutants, particularly
toxics, that adversely affect or simply
pass through secondary treatment
Sometimes, however, even stringent
control of industrial and municipal
point sources is not enough to attain
stipulated water quality standards.
There are two major reasons for this.
First, many bodies of water are heavily
polluted by nonpoint sources. Second,
even with stringent controls, the
amount of pollution discharged from
point sources may be too much for the
receiving water to accept. This may be
the case in urban regions particularly.
To bridge this gap, state and local
governments must devise plans laying
out the steps they will take to bring
water quality up to acceptable levels.
In general, these plans will involve a
mixture of controls on nonpoint
sources and more stringent controls on
point sources, including a general
prohibition against the discharge of
toxic materials in hazardous amounts.
To determine if they are discharging
hazardous amounts, sources may be
required to conduct biological tests of
fish and shellfish in receiving waters.
Such tests are often more useful than
standard chemical tests for showing
the effects of complex pollutant
mixtures. Funding to the states for
planning their control strategies is
provided through EPA ’s water quality
management program.
Two other programs that are
important to the protection of water
resources are the dredge and fill permit
system and the regulation of ocean
Under section 404 of the Clean
Water Act, EPA and the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers are jointly
responsible for protecting waters
against degradation and destruction
caused by disposal of dredged spoils
or fill. This protection extends to the
nation’s wetlands—its marshes,
swamps, bogs, and similar areas.
Wetlands are vital elements of natural
water systems, providing flood control
benefit, habitats for fish and wildlife,
and natural pollution filters. Permits to
carry out dredge and fill activities in
wetlands areas are granted by the
Corps of Engineers subject to EPA
approval. Because of the importance of
wetlands as a natural resource, EPA
has established on Office of Wetlands
Protection to provide increased
leadership and assistance in protecting
this ecological asset.
Under the Marine, Protection,
Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972,
EPA is required to protect the oceans
from indiscriminate dumping of
waste. Amendments to the Act in
1988 banned ocean dumping of
sewage sludge or industrial waste, or
transporting such waste for purposes
of dumping, after December 31, 1991.
Dumping of potentially infectious
medical waste into the ocean by
government vessels is also banned.
Water quality is protected by nearly
all of the laws EPA administers. Air
pollution controls, for example, keep
harmful pollutants from entering the
water from the atmosphere. Laws
governing radiation, toxic substances,
and pesticides also deal with special
pollution problems which may affect
water quality. In addition, a major
Agency objective is regulating solid
waste to prevent the contamination of
ground water and surface waters by
the seepage of harmful substances
from disposal sites.

Safe Drinking Water
Less than 100 years ago, epidemics of
waterborne diseases were a major
public health menace in the U.S.
Today, we hardly give them a
thought. Twentieth century methods
of water purification—particularly
chlorination—have been remarkably
effective in reducing instances of
cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and
infectious hepatitis. Waterborne
diseases still occur all too frequently,
but major epidemics have been
virtually eliminated in this century.
In recent years, however, public
health professionals have become
increasingly concerned about other
contaminants in our water supplies.
These include inorganic chemicals
such as nitrate, arsenic, and lead, as
well as toxic organic chemicals which
have been produced in ever growing
volumes. Certain pesticides also have
been added to the list of contaminants
that have found their way into
drinking water in some places. Some
of these pollutants are harmful even in
small amounts, and can be extremely
difficult to remove once they have
contaminated a water supply.
To deal with these problems,
Congress passed the Safe Drinking
Water Act of 1974, and amended that
act in 1977 and 1986. Under the Act,
EPA establishes national standards for
drinking water from both surface and
ground-water sources. These
standards provide maximum
con tamii wizt levels (MCLs) for
pollutants in drinking water. States are
primarily responsible for enforcing the
standards, with financial assistance
from EPA.
The Safe Drinking Water Act also
authorized EPA to protect aquifers
against contamination from the
disposal of wastes by injection into
deep wells. Some states have assumed
responsibility for managing these
underground injection control programs
as they develop their own regulatory
Ground water in many areas is
vulnerable to serious contamination
from a number of sources, such as
leachate from hazardous waste
landfills, leaking underground storage
tanks, and pesticide use. Protection of
essential aquifers is one of the major
environmental challenges of the 1980s.
EPA has developed a ground-water
protection strategy to safeguard
ground water and has established a
separate office within its Office of
Water to oversee this effort.
In addition, the 1986 amendments to
the Safe Drinking Water Act contain
two new ground-water provisions that
require innovative approaches to
resource assessment and protection:
the Wellhead Protection Program and the
Sole Source Aquifer Demonstration
The Wellhead Protection Program is
designed to protect wells that supply
public water systems. It is
state-developed and administered.
EPA is required, however, to issue
technical guidance and assist in
funding state efforts. The purpose of
the Sole Source Aquifer Demonstration
Program is to promote the adoption of
special protective measures for critical
areas within an aquifer that has been
designated as a sole source for a
community’s or region’s water supply,
and to identify and evaluate exemplary
programs and techniques for
minimizing ground-water
Both of these programs are designed
to protect ground water while allowing
states the flexibility to tailor efforts to
specific local conditions and geologic
settings. At the same time, EPA is
making every effort to implement the
programs within the overall context of
federal and state ground-water
protection strategies.
SDWA was amended again by the
“Lead Contamination Control Act of
1988” to eliminate lead-lined tanks
from drinking water coolers in schools,
with EPA authorized to identify such
coolers and to provide funds to the
states to assist local schools to enforce
the law.


Clean Air
People have know for centuries that
air can carry poisons. That’s why
miners used to take canaries with
them into the coal pits. A dead bird
meant the presence of lethal gases. But
before the smokestack boom of the
industrial revolution, “bad air” was an
isolated phenomenon. By the
beginning of the twentieth century ,
however, it was a common urban
characteristic, and by mid-century, it
had become a serious, sometimes fatal,
health hazard. In 1952, for example, a
“killer fog” in London was responsible
for some 4,000 deaths over a five-day
Air pollution is not limited to
industrial cities. Automobile exhaust is
a major contributor to air pollution;
heavy traffic can cause air quality
problems even in cities with little or
no industry. Neither is air pollution a
respecter of boundaries, Its effects
frequently appear far away from its
sources, as witness the dangerous
impact of man-made
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) on
stratospheric ozone levels and the
global warming predictions stemming
from the Greenhouse Effect caused by
ground-level pollutant emissions.
Federal legislation to control air
pollution was first enacted in 1955,
and strengthened in 1963, 1965, and
1967. However, it was the Clean Air
Act of 1970 that shaped the control
program we have today. Congress
reviewed and amended the law in
1977, but retained the basic principles
of the 1970 Act.
The fundamental objective of the
Clean Air Act is the protection of the
public health and welfare from
harmful effects of air pollution. To
define this goal, EPA sets two kinds of
National Ambient Air Quality Standards
(NAAQS) specifying maximum
acceptable levels for pollutants in
outdoor air. Primary standards set limits
which protect human health, including
“sensitive populations” such as
children, asthmatics, or the elderly.
Secondary standards protect plants,
animals, and material from harmful
effects of all pollution.
EPA has set primary and secondary
standards for six Criteria pollutants:
carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides,
lead, sulfur dioxides, ozone, and
particulates. These standards are based
on medical and scientific evidence of a
pollutant’s health and environmental
effects. EPA is required to review this
evidence every five years and analyze
any new data available. If the review
indicates changes are needed, the
standard is revised.
Some regions of the nation, such as
national parks and wilderness areas,
have exceptionally good air
quality—better, in fact, than the
quality that could be assured by the
primary and secondary standards. To
retain this quality, such areas must
meet prevention of significant
deterioration (PSD) standards
established to preserve the pristine air
and clear vistas that contribute to the
natural beauty of these national lands.
The Clean Air Act also requires that
EPA establish National Emissions
Standards for Hazardous Pollutants
(NESHAPS) to control the emission of
substances so toxic than even small
amounts may adversely affect health.
EPA has established NESHAPS for
asbestos, beryllium, mercury, vinyl
chloride, benzene, radionuclides, and
Air pollution comes from
stationary sources, such as factories,
power plants, and smelters, or from
mobile sources: automobiles, buses,
trucks, locomotives, and airplanes.
To control pollution from mobile
sources, the Clean Air Act and
supporting regulations provide for
automobile emission controls that have
become more stringent as increasingly
effective technology has developed.
The use of catalytic converters and
unleaded gasoline in newer-model cars
has been particularly important in
achieving better air quality despite a
continuing rise in the number of motor
vehicles on the road.

Global Atmospheric
To help ensure compliance with air
quality standards by stationary
sources, EPA sets New Source
Performance Standards that limit
emissions allowed from new industrial
plants and existing plants that are
substantially modified. by requiring
uniform emission limits on new
sources regardless of location,
Congress has prevented air pollution
controls from becoming a source of
regional rivalry. Standards are now in
effect for most major industries.
Since national performance
standards apply only to new or
modified plants, these controls
generally are not adequate in
themselves to assure acceptable air
quality. State governments must
therefore draw up and enforce State
Implementation Plans (SIPS), which spell
out additional measures that will be
undertaken to achieve acceptable air
quality. Typically , these include
controls on older industrial plants and
other stationary sources of pollution,
along with measures to cut back traffic
volumes or in other ways reduce
emissions related to motor vehicles.
SiPS are subject to EPA approval. If a
state plan is not acceptable, EPA is
required to provide an implementation
plan which the state must then
In recent years, the nation has seen
a steady improvement in air quality.
Since 1977 the ambient levels of all six
criteria pollutants have deceased, in
some cases dramatically. Ambient
lead, for example, has dropped by 87
percent, largely due to the increasing
use of unleaded gasoline. Particulate
levels have decreased by 23 percent,
ozone levels by 21 percent, and carbon
monoxide levels by 32 percent. The
interpretation of the decrease in the
ozone levels between 1977 and 1986 is
complicated by a calibration change for
ozone measurements that occurred in
the 1978-79 time period. in the
post-ozone calibration period (1979 to
1986), ozone levels decreased 13
percent. Although nitrogen dioxide
levels increased between 1977 and
1979, they began dropping in 1979. By
1986, ambient levels were 14 percent
lower than in 1977 and well below the
standard. The number of times that
the standards were exceeded also
dropped significantly during this time.
Since the early 1970s, scientists have
predicted that CFC emissions and
other chemicals would eventually
deplete the essential protective ozone
layer in the stratosphere. In 1978, EPA
banned the use of CFC’s in
nonessential aerosol propellants. By
1986, there was growing concern over
observed “holes” in the ozone layer
and continuing increases in worldwide
CFC emissions from refrigerants,
insulation, and various industrial
solvents. In 1988, EPA was one of over
45 nations that had approved an
international protocol to sharply
reduce CFC production and use, and
has issued regulations to that effect for
U.S. manufacturers.
Charged by Congress under the
Global Climate Protection Act of 1987
with investigating the extent of and
potential impacts of the Greenhouse
Effect, and with recommending steps
the United States might take to
prevent or ameliorate such problems,
EPA has joined with international
agencies and other nations in this
effort. The Agency is issuing a number
of reports on how Greenhouse
Effect-caused climate global warming
and rising seas could affect the
nation’s environment and way of life.


i w
- 7 k 1
( .


. .

I4 _

Protecting the Land
The numbers alone are overwhelming.
We Americans discard billions of tons
of solid waste every year, and we all
want it to go somewhere else.
In the past, it usually did go away.
The philosophy was “out of sight, out
of mind.” Through ignorance or
carelessness, we literally dumped it
anywhere, regardless of the
consequence. Now we know that
irresponsible disposal methods not
only put off real solutions, but can
cause severe health and environmental
effects. Improper disposal, particularly
of hazardous wastes, can contaminate
surface and ground water and
contribute to air pollution.
Congress recognized the serious
problems associated with waste
disposal as early as 1965, when the
Solid Waste Disposal Act was passed.
By the mid-1970s, however, it was
clear that a more vigorous national
effort was needed. In 1976, Congress
enacted the Resource Conservation and
Recovery Act (RCRA), which authorized
EPA to regulate current and future
waste management and disposal
practices. Congress was particularly
concerned about the management of
hazardous wastes, whose careless
disposal we now have learned may
lead to the contamination of entire
neighborhoods and communities. At
Love Canal in New York, for example
hazardous waste buried over a 25-year
period contaminated ground and
water and finally forced the evacuation
of an entire neighborhood. In Times
Beach, Missouri, oil contaminated with
highly toxic dioxin was sprayed on
roads, eventually leading to a federal
“buyout” of all homes and businesses
in the community.
RCRA can help prevent future Love
Canals and similar tragedies, but it
does not address a legacy of
abandoned waste sites or emergencies
created by spills or other releases of
hazardous substances. To deal with
these situations, Congress in 1980
passed the Comprehensive Environmental
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
(CERCLA, or “Superfund”. CERCLA set
up a trust fund of $1.6 billion dollars,
financed for the most part by a tax on
chemical manufacturers over five
years, and gave EPA the authority to
respond to hazardous substance
releases which threaten human health
and the environment. In 1986, the
Superfund Amendments and
Reauthorization Act (SARA) amended
CERCLA and gave the Superfund
program new responsibilities and
authorities. In addition, Congress
increased the size of the trust fund to
$8.5 billion.
Although RCRA has important
provisions encouraging sound
municipal disposal practices and
resource recovery, EPA’s major
priority under the Act has been the
development of “cradle-to-grave”
regulations governing the generation,
storage, transport, treatment, and
disposal of hazardous wastes. These
wastes include toxic substances,
caustics, pesticides, and other
flammable, corrosive, or explosive
materials. EPA recently estimated
about 275 million tons of such wastes
are produced every year. That
amounts to more than one ton of
waste for every man, woman, and
child in the country.
To carry out RCRA’s provisions,
EPA is responsible for:
• Identifying the characteristics of
hazardous wastes in general and
identifying specific hazardous wastes.
• Enforcing compliance by the
RCRA-regulated community and
requiring action to correct problems found
at operating facilities.
• Developing standards applicable to
generators and transporters of
hazardous wastes, and to operators of
hazardous waste treatment, storage,
and disposal facilities. Under these
- generators must identify the wastes
they produce and report the means of
treatment, storage, or disposal.
- transport of such wastes is monitored
through a uniform manifest system

which ensures a verifiable record of
the origin, route, and destination of
each shipment.
- treatment, storage, and disposal facilities
must have permits to operate, and
their design must be adequate to
prevent dangerous waste from
leaching through the soil and
contaminating water sources. Active
land disposal sites must be monitored
constantly to prevent ground-water
contamination; closed sites must be
capped properly, as well as monitored.
In addition, owners or operators of
such facilities must demonstrate
financial responsibility for damage
occurring during active operations,
and set aside funds for monitoring and
maintenance after the site is closed.
Another major goal under RCRA is
to encourage states to develop
comprehensive programs for managing
non-hazardous solid waste, and every
state now has a solid waste
management agency. EPA has
published a national strategy for solid
waste management that provides
incentives to states to recycle up to 25
percent of the solid waste. EPA has
supported research and demonstration
projects to stimulate promising new
methods of waste disposal,
resource/energy recovery, innovative
technology, source reduction, and
other waste minimization techniques.
The Agency also has laid out
guidelines for developing waste
management plans, established
standards for land disposal facilities,
and published a national inventory of
unacceptable facilities.
Most recently, Congress has given
the Agency responsibility for tracking
medical wastes in a number of states
because of growing concern about
what happens to such wastes, which
have been showing up on beaches,
vacant lots, and in landfills.
Underground Storage Tanks
Polluted ground water, contaminated
soil, explosions, and fire all can be
attributed to what has been described
as “little lime bombs
ticking”—underground storage tanks.
In the 1950s, fire departments began to
require that tanks storing volatile
liquids be buried to reduce the risk of
explosion and fire. But what we didn’t
know was that another risk was being
created that would cause far-reaching
damage to human health and the
environment. Leaking underground
storage tanks have been identified as a
major source of ground-water
contamination. EPA estimates there
are three to five million tanks in the
United States containing petroleum
products or other hazardous
substances. Thousands are thought to
be leaking now and many more will
begin to leak in the next five to 10
years. Because half our population
depends on ground water as a source
of drinking water, the underground
storage tank problem has been
recognized as one of national
significance requiring federal
In 1984, Congress amended RCRA.
The revised law required EPA to
develop and implement a
comprehensive regulatory program for
underground storage tanks. The
Agency issued regulations in 1988
addressing leak detection, corrective
action requirements, standards for
new tanks, and other proper tank
management practices. The new
regulations also included requirements
for tank owners or operators who will
have to show they have insurance or
other financial resources to pay for
damage done by leaking underground
Further RCRA amendments in 1986
provided federal funds to clean up
petroleum leaks from underground
tanks in certain circumstances. The
Trust Fund is financed by a tax on
motor fuels which will raise $500
million over the next five years. EPA is
authorized to use Trust Fund money
for emergency cleanups when federal
action is necessary. However, the
Agency has completed cooperative
agreements whereby the states carry
out the cleanups under the Trust

The Superfund Amendments and
Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986 is
a 5-year $8.5 billion program providing
federal authority and resources to
address the nation’s uncontrolled
hazardous waste problem. The
Superfund law authorizes EPA to
respond immediately to situations or
sites that pose a danger to human
health or the environment. While
some emergencies occur because of
accidents in the handling,
transporting, or storing of hazardous
wastes, the vast majority of hazardous
waste emergencies are the result of
improper or uncontrolled disposal
practices in the past. EPA currently
has an inventory of 27,000 sites which
have been identified as hazardous
waste sites, and estimates that the
inventory will continue to expand. The
Agency has conducted over 1200
emergency removal actions.
The Agency has the authority to
take immediate actions, commonly
known as removal actions, where a
situation or site poses an imminent
threat. Common types of removal
situations may include, but are not
limited to:
• Spills of hazardous materials when a
truck or train is involved in an
• Discharges of hazardous materials
into the air or water during a fire.
• Improper handling or disposal of
hazardous materials at landfills or
industrial areas.
A removal action is a short-term
response intended to stabilize or clean
up after an incident or at a site which
poses a threat to human health or the
environment. Removal actions can
include removing or disposing of
materials, fencing an area to restrict
access, or temporarily relocating
residents. The primary objective of
removal actions is to bring the
situation under control by stabilizing
or stopping the release of hazardous
substances. The law ordinarily limits
removal actions to twelve months and
a total cost of $2 million.
The Agency also has the authority
under the Superfund program to take
long-term cleanup actions at a site.
This is known as remedial action.
Remedial activities are conducted only
at sites identified on EPA ’s National
Priorities List (NPL). This is the
Agency’s list of hazardous waste sites
chosen for possible long-term remedial
actions; 1,077 sites are now eligible for
long-term remedial activities. EPA
often conducts both removal and
remedial actions at the same NPL
sites. Immediate removal actions may
be required during a remedial action if
an immediate threat is discovered
during the course of the cleanup work.
Over 375 removals have been
conducted at NPL sites.
Under the Superfund remedial
program, EPA initiates long-term
cleanup actions to stop or substantially
reduce hazardous material releases, or
threats of such releases, that are
serious but not immediately
threatening. Potential NPL sites are
discovered through such sources as
routine reporting, routine site
inspections, and by citizen reports.
Once a potential site is identified, EPA
or state officials conduct a preliminary
assessment by reviewing available
documents about the site. A site
inspection will be conducted to gather
additional information if a potential
problem does exist. Based on
information obtained from the site
inspection, EPA uses it to compare the
potential risk posed by the site to risks
posed by other sites throughout the
nation. Those sites with high enough
scores are placed on the National
Priorities List.
Once a facility has been placed on
the NPL, a remedial investigation and
feasibility study (RIPS) is conducted to
determine the nature of the problem
and to evaluate alternative methods
for cleaning up the site. During the
investigation, EPA or the state collects
and analyzes information needed to
determine the extent and nature of the
contamination. The feasibility study
follows, to identify specific alternative
remedies which will be evaluated by
EPA, responsible parties, and the
general public. EPA, with state
concurrence, selects a remedy for the
site which meets the statutory
requirement of CERCLA and the

National Contingency Plan (NCP), the
federal regulation that guides the
Superfund program. Design of the
remedy and construction activities are
conducted under the supervision of
EPA and the Army Corps of
Engineers, or a state can manage all
site activities on its own.
EPA encourages private parties who
are responsible for hazardous waste
sites to clean up those sites
voluntarily, with government
oversight of the cleanup activities. If
the responsible parties are unwilling to
do this, EPA will issue an
administrative order or take them to
court to require them to clean up the
site. If the responsible parties ignore
an EPA cleanup order, and EPA must
conduct the cleanup, they may be
liable for punitive damages up to triple
the cost of federal remedial work. If
those responsible are unknown, EPA
and the states will do the work.
States play a number of important
roles in toxic waste management.
When EPA and the states perform
cleanup work, the state contributes 10
percent if the facilities are operated by
the state or by a political subdivision
within the state. In addition to
cost-sharing, states are involved in site
selection, establishing cleanup
priorities, and selecting the cleanup
methods to be used in remedial
actions. Remedies must also meet
state-promulgated requirements when
such requirements are stricter than
federal standards. States must also
provide adequate capacity for the
management of hazardous wastes
generated within their boundaries. By
1989, each state must be able to assure
EPA that it has the capacity to dispose
of all hazardous wastes for the next 20
years or face the loss of federal funds
for future remedial actions.
Both RCRA and Superfund activities
tend to generate intense public interest
and involvement. Congress has been
careful to protect the interests of
affected citizens by including specific
public participation requirements in the
enabling statues , Public participation
means that the public is given an
opportunity to understand clearly the
programs and actions proposed, that
ample opportunity is provided for
citizens to air their views, and that
officials respond substantively and in a
timely fashion to public concerns.
RCRA legislation, for example,
requires EPA and the states to assist
and encourage public participation in
the development, revision,
implementation, and enforcement of
actions taken under its authority. A
key aspect of any Superfund response
is ensuring that local citizens’ and
officials’ concerns are taken into
account and that information about the
site is widely distributed. SARA
authorizes Technical Assistance Grants
(TAG) of up to 550,000 to be made
available at NPL sites to citizens
groups to hire experts to explain the
complexities of the hazardous waste
problem at the site.
Part of EPA’s Air Toxics Strategy
deals with accidental releases of toxics
into the atmosphere. The Agency’s
Chemical Emergency Preparedness
Program (CEPP) provides guidance,
training, and technical assistance to
states and local communities to help
them identify chemical hazards and
meet their responsibilities in preparing
for and responding to chemical
emergencies. When Superfund was
reauthorized, Congress enacted the
Emergency Planning and Comnnniity
Right-to-Know Act of 1986 along with
SARA. Title III of the Act contains
requirements for federal, state, and
local governments and industr related
to emergency planning, emergency
notification and “community
right-to-know” reporting on hazardous
chemicals. These requirements include
right-to-know provisions allowing the
public to obtain information about the
presence of hazardous chemicals in the
community and routine releases of
such into the environment.


a) .
*., ..
4b i-

Pesticides are chemical or biological
substances used to control unwanted
plants, insects, fungi, rodents, or
bacteria. They include insecticides,
herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides,
fumigants, disinfectants, and plant
growth regulators. While pesticide use
has contributed to increased
agricultural production and improved
public health through control of
disease-carrying pests, acute and
chronic human health and
environmental risks also can be
associated with use of many of the
these chemicals. In determining
whether to permit the marketing of a
pesticide and how to regulate its use,
EPA balances such potential risks
against the benefits that may be
derived from use of the chemical.
Over 45,000 pesticide products are
registered by EPA for use in the
United States. Yearly production is
approximately 1.1 billion pounds,
costing $6.6 billion. About 77 percent
of all pesticides used in this country
are applied in agricultural production,
7 percent in home and garden
settings, and the remaining 16 percent
in forestry, industry, and government
EPA’s regulation of pesticides is
mandated by Congress. Through its
Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP),
the Agency administers two statutes:
• The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and
Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), last amended
in 1988, governs the licensing or
“registration” of pesticide products.

• The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic
Act (FFDCA), among other things,
governs pesticide residue levels in
food or feed crops.
FIFRA was originally enacted in 1947,
when it replaced the Federal Insecticide
Act of 1910. Congress has amended
FIFRA several times since then, most
importantly in 1972 when the
emphasis in pesticide regulation was
shifted from ensuring the efficacy of
pesticide products to protecting public
health and the environment. EPA has
administered FIFRA since 1970 when it
took over the responsibility from the
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
EPA is responsible under FIFRA for
registering new pesticides to ensure
that, when used according to label
directions, they will not present
unreasonable risks to human health or
the environment. The law requires the
Agency to take into account economic,
social, and environmental costs and
benefits when making such decisions.
This balancing of risks and benefits
underlies all basic regulatory decisions
under the Act.
Pesticide registration is a pre-market
review and licensing program for all
pesticides marketed in the United
States, whether of domestic or foreign
origin. Registration decisions for new
pesticides are based on evaluation of
test data (provided by registrants)
which show whether a pesticide has
the potential to cause adverse effects
in humans or the environment.
Potential human risks include
poisoning, skin and eye irritation,
cancer, birth defects, or reproductive
system disorders. Data on
“environmental fate,” or how a
pesticide behaves in the environment,
are also required so EPA can
determine, among other things,
whether a pesticide poses a threat to
non-target species (species other than
those it is meant to control) or ground
Through its “reregistration” process,
EPA also examines pesticides
registered prior to current regulatory
requirements to assure that these
chemicals meet the same “no
unreasonable adverse effects” criteria
that apply to new pesticides.
Whenever new data on an old
pesticide indicate that it may be
presenting unreasonable risks, EPA
initiates a public “special review” to
determine whether regulatory action is
warranted. At the conclusion of a
special review, EPA may decide to
continue, restrict, or cancel the uses
under consideration. The 1988 FIFRA
amendments require EPA to complete
the reregistration process in
approximately nine years and
authorizes the collection of fees to
support reregistration.
Additionally, EPA has the authority
to classify certain pesticide products
for restricted use. While most pesticide
products can be used safely by
anyone, provided label directions,
restrictions, and precautions are
carefully observed, restricted use
pesticides pose potentially serious
hazards to applicators or the
environment, so they may be used
only by persons who are trained,
certified applicators.
FIFRA includes provisions for:
monitoring the distribution and use of
pesticides; issuing civil as well as
criminal penalties for violations;
“cooperative enforcement agreements”
between EPA and the states; and a
certification and training program for
applicators that qualifies them to use
chemicals classified for restricted use.
Primary enforcement for pesticide
violations is now carried out by the
states, subject to oversight by EPA.
Under the FFDCA, EPA sets
tolerances, or maximum legal limits,
for pesticide residues on food
commodities and feed grains marketed
in the United States. The purpose of
the tolerance program is to ensure that
U.S. consumers are not exposed to
unsafe pesticide levels on or in their
The Agency establishes a tolerance
only if residue chemistry and
toxicological data indicate that no
unreasonable risk to consumers will
result. Tolerances are set at levels no
higher than necessary to permit
marketing of treated commodities. The
Food and Drug Administration and
the U.S. Department of Agriculture are
responsible for enforcing tolerances for
food and feed commodities in
interstate commerce. Any domestic or
imported commodities with residues in
excess of U.S. tolerance levels are
subject to seizure and destruction.

Toxic Substances
Chemicals are a vital part of our lives,
and most of them are not dangerous
to our health or the environment if
used properly. But some are toxic
substances that even in minute
amounts can cause death, disease,
genetic damage, or severe
environmental harm. Toxic substances
include a number of manufactured
chemicals, as well as
naturally-occurring heavy metals and
other materials. The damage already
caused by uncontrolled releases of
these substances has been enormous.
Polvchlorinated biphenvis (PCBs),
dioxin, and asbestos are now among
the toxic materials whose common use
in earlier years has left a legacy of
contamination that plagues wide areas
of the country today.
To provide a safeguard against the
introduction of additional
contaminants to our environment and
to address the risks posed by existing
chemicals, Congress, in 1976, passed
the Toxic Substances Control Act (TS A).
TSCA is intended to identify and
control chemicals that pose an
unreasonable risk to human health or
the environment through their
manufacture, processing, commercial
distribution, use, or disposal. (Eight
categories of chemical products are
exempt from TSCA because they are
regulated under other laws. These
include pesticides, tobacco, nuclear
materiah , firearms and ammunition,
food, food additives, drugs, and
One of EPA’s major regulatory tools
under TSCA is its authority to screen
new chemicals through the
premanufacture notification process.
Manufacturers are required to notify
EPA at least 90 days before producing
or importing a new chemical
substance. This enables the Agency to
assess the potential risks of a new
chemical before manufacture begins. If
a chemical substance is suspected of
posing an unreasonable risk, but key
data are missing, EPA may require
manufacturers to test the substance for
toxicity, cancer-causing potential,
reproductive effects, or other
characteristics. In addition, an
Interagency Testing committee of
government experts advises EPA if
certain chemicals should be tested.
Chemicals deemed to be harmful may
be regulated in a number of ways,
ranging from labeling requirements to
outright bans on the manufacture or
use of especially hazardous
substances. If appropriate, EPA may
also refer chemicals to other federal
agencies with regulatory responsibility
over toxic chemicals. These agencies
include the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration; the Food and
Drug Administration; the Consumer
Product Safety Commission; and the

Food Safety and Quality Service of the
Department of Agriculture.
TSCA also requires EPA to develop
and keep current a comprehensive
chemical inventory. This inventory,
which is based on information
submitted by chemical manufacturers,
processors, and importers, presents an
overall picture of the chemicals used
for commercial purposes in the U.S.
(Although there are well over four
million known chemical compounds,
most of these are used only in
research and development. TSCA is
applicable only to those chemicals in
commercial use.) Chemicals not on the
inventory must be reviewed by EPA
before they can be manufactured in or
imported into the U.S.
In addition to keeping its own
chemical inventory, EPA also requires
the chemical industry to report and
keep records on the manufacture,
processing, use, and disposal of
chemical substances, the by-products
generated by manufacture, the number
of people exposed in the workplace,
and other relevant information,
including all significant adverse reactions
to health and the environment alleged
to have been caused by a chemical.
Industry also must report to EPA any
information that indicates that a
chemical substance or mixture presents
a risk to health or the environment.
These reporting requirements enable
EPA to monitor the actual
environmental and health effects of a
substance, and to take further action if
Another of EPA ’s concerns is to
ensure consistency in evaluating
chemical hazards, both within and
outside the Agency. The Good
Laboratory Practices standards assure
that test data submitted to EPA
conform with requirements for
administration of testing labs, the
control and management of laboratory
test animals, the documentation of
tests, and the handling of test data. In
addition, EPA works closely with the
24-nation Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development to
develop uniform chemical testing
Some toxic substances require
special attention because they are so
widespread in the environment or
because they pose serious health
threats even at extremely low levels of
contamination. Particularly
troublesome substances include
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB s),
asbestos, and dioxin. PCBs, for
example, were widely used for about
50 years because of their heat resistant
properties. So persistent is this group
of chemicals that everyone in this
country likely has trace levels of it in
their bodies.
Further production of PCBs was
banned specifically by TSCA because
these substances were found to cause
adverse reproductive effects, skin
lesions, developmental effects, and
Another substance of concern is
asbestos, which when inhaled by
human beings causes lung cancer and
mesothelioma, a cancer of the
membranes lining the chest and
abdomen. These effects may take
many years to show up, depending on
the degree and length of exposure.
Asbestos frequently was used in
buildings as a fire retardant, and in
many cases has started to crumble and
be released into the air. Because many
school buildings used asbestos,
hazards to children are a particular
concern. EPA’s school asbestos rule,
issued in May of 1982, requires all
elementary and secondary school
administrators to have their buildings
inspected for friable asbestos, notify
parents and employees of any asbestos
detected, and maintain records
certifying compliance with rule.
(Friable materials are those that, when
dry, may be crumbled, pulverized, or
reduced to powder by hand pressurc )
The Asbestos School Hazard
Abatement Act of 1984 authorized $600
million over 7 years for the EPA
program of school asbestos hazard
information collection and
dissemination and for assistance to
school programs, based on information
provided by each state.
EPA also is using its authorities
under both TSCA and HERA to keep a
close watch on developments in
biotechnology. Biotechnology is the
use of biological processes to produce
chemicals or living organisms for
commercial use. The agency is
focusing particularly on plans to use
naturally occurring organisms in new
ways or in non-indigenous habitats,
and on attempts to manufacture and
use genetically altered

“Y4 c ’
1. . ,
ri’ r-
- 1 -
c c
C t

Ionizing radiation can be a serious
environmental contaminant. Sources of
this form of radiation include uranium
mining and milling, nuclear power
wastes, and radioactive materials used
in medicine. The health effects of
non-ionizing, electromagnetic
radiation—such as radio-frequency
waves and radiation from high voltage
power lines—are not as well
understood, but they, too, may be
A number of federal agencies,
including EPA, are responsible for
protecting the public from unnecessary
exposure. EPA received its authority in
this area under the Atomic Energy Act
of 1954, the Public Health Service Act
of 1962, the Safe Drinking Water Act
of 1974, the Clean Air Act
Amendments of 1977, the Uranium
Mifi Tailings Radiation Control Act of
1978, the Marine Protection, Research,
and Sanctuaries Act, the Clean Water
Act, the Nuclear Waste Policy of 1982,
and the Comprehensive
Environmental Response
Compensation, and Liability Act. The
Agency’s major responsibilities are to
set radiation guidelines, to assess new
technology, and to monitor radiation
in the environment.
To protect the public from
environmental exposure to excessive
radiation, EPA has set standards
limiting releases from nuclear power
plants, from mill tailings at active and
inactive uranium processing sites,
from licensed uranium mills, from
underground uranium mines, and
from radionuclides in drinking water.
EPA has also limited releases of
airborne radionuclides from some
other major sources. The Agency has
set standards for the disposal of
high-level radioactive waste and is
developing standards for low-level
waste. EPA has developed federal
guidance on the medical use of X-rays.
It has also proposed guidance for
exposure to radio-frequency radiation
and completed work on guidance for
occupational exposure to ionizing
radiation. The Agency is studying
approaches to cleaning up residual
radiation at decommissioned nuclear
facilities and is developing guidance
for protective action in nuclear
Additionally, the Agency has
implemented a national program to
deal with the problem of indoor
radon. The program has developed
methods to more accurately
characterize the problem, and is
disseminating information on methods
of reducing radon exposure in existing
and future structures. The Indoor
Radon Abatement Act, enacted in
1988, specifically authorizes these
activities and also authorizes technical
assistance and financial aid to the
states for radon programs, and
regional radon training centers.
EPA also participates in planning
responses to radiological emergencies.
The Agency is prepared to provide
field-monitoring help to other federal
agencies, as well as state and local
governments, in the event of an
emergency at a nuclear facility.
Finally, EPA monitors radiation in
the environment through a network of
268 stations that sample surface and
drinking water, air, precipitation, and
milk. The monitoring data are used to
identify trends in environmental
radiation levels, to establish ambient
levels of radioactivity, and to assess
actions needed to protect the public.

- — - -

Research and Devolopment
Protecting people from environmental
hazards is a complex task, made all
the harder because many actions must
be taken on the basis of incomplete
scientific information. To maintain
public trust in EPA’s decisions, it is
essential that the Agency’s decision
makers objectively interpret and work
with the best available scientific data.
EPA’s research office provides these
data—for the most part—in six major
research areas: engineering and
technology; environmental processes
and effects; monitoring systems and
quality assurance; health effects; health
and environmental assessment; and
exploratory research.
Research in environmental engineering
and technology assesses pollution from
industrial and municipal sources, and
analyzes alternative control
technologies. Examples of research
include exploring innovative
techniques for removing and disposing
of pollutants, and developing
cost-effective methods of providing
safe drinking water.
Environmental processes and effects
research seeks to develop the data
necessary for predicting and managing
the movement of pollutants through
the environment and for determining
their effects on ecosystems and
nonhuman organisms. Research within
this area also develops mathematical
models relating pollution emissions to
air quality.
Through its research in monitoring
systems and quality assurance, EPA
develops methods to measure and
monitor pollutants, as well as ensure
that these measurements are accurate
and follow standardized procedures.
Health effects research provides the
data needed to accurately estimate
human mortality and illness caused by
pollutants. Research facilities include
one of the nation’s few facilities
capable of testing human exposure,
and research areas include developing
data on dose-responses and methods
of using such data to estimate human
health effects.
A major factor in EPA’s regulatory
decisions is the Agency’s
determination of the hazard posed by
various pollutants. EPA’s health and
environmental assessment research
includes an effort to provide an
integrated, scientific foundation for
evaluating the health and
environmental effects stemming from
exposure to a substance and for
determining the risks of such
EPA also needs to anticipate
environmental problems and issues.
The exploratory research program
assesses potential environmental
trends and funds research to meet
needs for basic scientific knowledge.
EPA has 14 research laboratories and
several field stations to carry out its
in-house research, and this capability
is extended through grants,
cooperative agreements, and research
contracts with universities and other
private institutions. The Agency’s
largest research centers are in Research
Triangle Park, NC, and Cincinnati,
OH. Appendix II lists EPA research
EPA also relies on its Science
Advisory board for technical advice
and review. This Board established by
Congress, is a panel of eminent
non-EPA scientists who advise the
Agency on scientific issues and review
the quality of EPA scientific research.

,I .

Preventing pollution at the source and
recycling are new priorities in EPA’s
anti-pollution effort. While regulatory
pollution control programs have made
substantial progress in improving the
environmental quality of the nation’s
air, water, and land areas, they are
reaching the point where future
improvements could be extremely
costly and technologically difficult to
achieve. What’s more, we are running
out of “dumping grounds”—landfills
are rapidly filling up and closing;
ocean-dumping is being banned for
some forms of waste; new sites for
toxic waste and radioactive waste
disposal sites are becoming hard to
find and even harder to get approved.
One answer to the continuous and
serious environmental problem posed
by the sheer volume of pollution
generated each year is to prevent
it—reduce or eliminate discharges,
emissions, and hazardous and solid
waste accumulation by changing the
way things are done in factories,
offices, and homes to generate less
The Agency has issued a policy
statement which expresses a clear
preference for pollution prevention,
source reduction, and for
environmentally sound recycling. The
policy encourages organizations,
facilities, and individuals to fully
utilize source-reduction techniques to
prevent pollution and to use recycling
as an alternative to disposal.
EPA believes that substantial
reductions in pollution can be
achieved by equipment or process
changes in industrial plants. Most of
these changes focus on the use of less
toxic substances in the process and
recycling of the waste products that
are generated. The Agency also has as
one of its goals the reduction of
household hazardous waste through
state and local recycling programs.
The pollution prevention concept is
an important EPA priority. The
Agency will try to protect every aspect
of our nation’s environment by
aggressively pursuing source reduction
and recycling as an integral part of all
of its mandated regulation and control
activities. EPA’s Office of Pollution
Prevention is charged with
coordinating the efforts of EPA’s air,
water, and land protection programs,
and providing how-to information to
the states, industries, and the
regulated community.
Pollution Prevention

9 ’
- 4 _
I —
- -
I :,

Enforcement of Environmental Laws
EPA’s mission is to protect human
health and the environment. That’s
the goal of its hundreds of complicated
regulations. In most cases, the
regulated community complies with
these requirements. But when
regulated entities fail to comply
voluntarily, EPA, in partnership with
cooperating state agencies, can take a
number of actions. Enforcement
activities may take the form of
compliance promotion, administrative
money penalties, negotiated
compliance schedules, and ultimately,
judicial enforcement involving criminal
proceedings in federal court.
Judicial enforcement is only one of
the tools that EPA and the states use
for inducing compliance, but it is a
very important one. Not the least of its
virtues is its deterrence value. By
seeking and winning large financial
and criminal penalties against
significant violators, the Agency seeks
to remove any incentives for
non-compliance. EPA will seek
penalties at least as large as the gain a
company may have realized by
violating the law. A major objective is
to ensure that violators are not
inclined to consider fines simply as a
cost of doing business. More and
more, the courts have shown they are
willing to punish willful polluters with
stiff civil penalties or with criminal
convictions, substantial fines, and
prison sentences.
To support these enforcement
efforts, EPA maintains a National
Enforcement Investigations Center in
Denver, CO. The Center’s combination
of laboratory, investigative, and
engineering skills is often instrumental
in developing the solid evidence that
enables EPA to win its cases in court.
Another key component in the
Agency’s enforcement effort is the
work of its criminal investigation unit.
Because of their specialized training in
criminal law enforcement techniques,
these investigators have been
successful in cracking down on illegal
discharges into waterways, “midnight
dumping” of toxic substances, and the
deliberate destruction or falsification of
vital test results or environmental
Enforcing environmental laws and
regulations often calls for close
cooperation among EPA, its regional
offices, the U.S. Justice Department,
and myriad state and local agencies.
All have an important role in
achieving significant improvements in
environmental quality.

Appendix 1: EPA Regional Offices
EPARegion 1
JFK Federal Building
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 565-3715
Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire,
Rhode Island, Vermont
26 Federal Plaza
New York . NY 10278
(212) 264-2515
New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico. Virgin islands
Field Component
Canttean Field Office
P .O. Box 792
San Juan, PR 00909
(809) 725-7825
WA Region 3
841 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 597-9800
Delaware. Maryland. Pennsvivana \irginia.
West Virginia. Distnct of Columbia
EPA Region 4
345 Courtland Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30365
(404) 3474727
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi,
North Carolina, South Carolina. Tennessee
EPA Region 5
230 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 353-2000
Illinois, Indiana, M i chigan, Minnesota. Ohio. Wsconsin
Field Component
Eastern District Office
25089 Center Ridge Road
West Lake, OH 44145
(216) 835-5200
EPA Region 6
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202
Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
EPA Region 7
726 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66101
(913) 236-2800
1CM/a, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
EPA Region 8
One Denver Place
999 18th Street
Denver, CO 80202-2413
Colorado, Montana, Not Dakota, South Dakota
Utah, Wyoming
EPA Region 9
215 Fremont Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 974-8071
Mzona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa,
Guam, Trust Territories of the Pacific
Reid Component
Pacific Islands Office
P .O. Box 50003
300 Ala Moana Boulevard
Room 1302
Honolulu, HI 96850
(808) 546-8910
EPA Region 10
1200 Sixth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 442-5810
Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
Reid Components
Alaska Operations Office
Room E556, Federal Building
701 C Street
Anchorage, AK 99513
(907) 271-5083
Idaho Operations Office
422 West Washington Street
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 334-1450
Oregon Operations Office
811 SW , Sixth Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 221-3250
Washington Operations Office
C/O Department of Ecology (FV-1 1)
O mpia, WA 98504
(206) 753-9437
Alaska Operations Office
3200 Hospital Drrve
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 586-7619


Appendix 2: EPA Research Faciltties
Research Faciftes Operated by ORD
Environmental Research Laboratory
South Ferry Road
Narragansett RI 02882
(401) 789-1071
Pacific Division
Hathed Marine Science Center
Newport. OR 97365
(503) 867-4041
Enwonrnental Monitoring Systems Laboratory
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
(919) 541-2106
Atmospheric Scences Research Laboratory
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
(919) 541-2191
Air and Energy Engineering Research Laboratory
Research Triangle Part NC 27711
(919) 541-2821
Heafth Effects Research Laboratory
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711
(919) 541-2281
Toxicology and Microbiology DMsion
Oncinnati, OH 45268
(513) 569-7401
ErMronmental Research Laboratory
College Station Road
Athens, Georgia 30613
(404) 548-3134
Enwonmental Research Laboratory
Sabine Island
Gulf Breeze, FL 32561
(904) 932-5311
Envwonmental Monitoring and Support Laboratory
Cincinnati, OH 45268
(513) 569-7301
Risk Reduction Engineering Laboratory
Cincinnati, OH 45268
(513) 569-7418
Risk Reduction Engineering Laboratory
Woodbridge Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837
(201) 321-6635
Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Laboratory
PC Box 1198
Ada, OK 74820
(405) 332-8800
Environmental Research Laboratory
6201 Congdon Boulevard
Duluth, MN 55804
(218) 720-5550
Large Lakes Research Station
9311 Groh Road
Grosse He, Ml 48138
(313) 675-5000
Monticello Enwonmental Research Station
P0 Box 500
Monticello, MN 55362
(61 2)-295-51 45
Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory
P0 Box 15027
Las Vegas. NV89114
(702) 798-2100
Environmental Photographic Interpretation Center
‘dint Hill Farms Station
P0 Box 1587. Building 166
Warrenton, VA 22186
(703) 349-8970
Other EPA Research Facilities:
Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
Building 402, ARC East
Beftsville, MD 20705
(301) 344-2187
Eastern Environmental Radiation Facilities
1908 Federal Drive
P0 Box 3009
Montgomery, AL 36193
(205) 272-3402
Environmental Chemistry Laboratory
Building 1105
NSTL MS 39529
(601) 688-32123
Center for Environmental Research Information
Cincinnati, OH 45268
(513) 569-7391
National Enforcement Investigations Center
Building 53, Box 25227
Denver, CO 80225
(303) 236-5100
Manchester Laboratory
P0 Box 549
Manchester, WA 98353
(206) 442-0370
Environmental Research Laboratory
200 SW 35th Street
Corvallis, OR 97333
(503) 757-4.601