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Read on to learn about the history and impact of environmental regulations on business, public health, and America as a whole. The advent of environmental regulations in America really begins with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in Only about a third of U. The impact of these acts has been huge. Beyond their immediate environmental benefits, these laws set a legacy of top-down, federal environmental regulation ensuring that America has some of the cleanest water and safest air in the world.

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The technological changes required by these laws have been significant. Power plants throughout the nation were required to update their systems and install filters on their smokestacks. And did we gain anything? Actually, yes. Thanks to the Clean Water Act and its subsequent amendments, the percentage of drinkable fresh water in the United States rose from about 30 percent to well over 60 percent. One of the reasons analyzing regulatory costs and benefits is complicated is because the losses are felt by private businesses, but the gains are felt in a completely different area: public health.

In , over 13 million lost workdays and 3. No, not really. Between and , U. GDP increased by percent and private sector jobs increased by 88 percent. It is sometimes incorrectly claimed that environmental regulations are one of the central causes for the significant trend in outsourcing that has swept through American businesses.

President Trump certainly seems confident that removing regulations will help to bring back manufacturing to the U.

The primary driver in outsourcing is and has always been a desire to reduce labor costs. Eliminated the use of an Obama-era planning system designed to minimize harm from oil and gas activity on sensitive landscapes , such as national parks. Eased the environmental review processes for small wireless infrastructure projects with the goal of expanding 5G wireless networks. Federal Communications Commission Read more.

Truly innovative products leave their mark on the world instead of the planet.

Withdrew Obama-era policies designed to maintain or, ideally improve, natural resources affected by federal projects. Proposed plans to streamline the environmental review process for Forest Service projects. Agriculture Department Read more. Changed the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, making it more difficult to protect wildlife from long-term threats posed by climate change. Opened nine million acres of Western land to oil and gas drilling by weakening habitat protections for the sage grouse , an imperiled bird with an elaborate mating dance.

Overturned a ban on the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands. Overturned a ban on the hunting of predators in Alaskan wildlife refuges. Ended an Obama-era rule barring hunters on some Alaska public lands from using bait to lure and kill grizzly bears. Withdrew proposed limits on the number of endangered marine mammals and sea turtles that people who fish could unintentionally kill or injure with sword-fishing nets on the West Coast. In , California issued a state rule prohibiting the use of the nets the rule was intending to regulate.

Amended fishing regulations for a number of species to allow for longer seasons and higher catch rates.

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Rolled back a roughly year-old interprentation of a policy aimed at protecting migratory birds , potentially running afoul of treaties with Canada and Mexico. Overturned a ban on using parts of migratory birds in handicrafts made by Alaskan Natives. Rejected a proposed ban on chlorpyrifos , a pesticide linked to developmental disabilities in children. Narrowed the scope of a law mandating safety assessments for potentially toxic chemicals , like dry-cleaning solvents and paint strippers.

The E. Announced a review of an Obama-era rule lowering coal dust limits in mines. The head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration said there were no immediate plans to change the dust limit, but the review is continuing. Labor Department Read more. Scaled back pollution protections for certain tributaries and wetlands that were regulated under the Clean Water Act by the Obama administration. Revoked a rule that prevented coal companies from dumping mining debris into local streams. Withdrew a proposed rule aimed at reducing pollutants, including air pollution, at sewage treatment plants.

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Withdrew a proposed rule requiring groundwater protections for certain uranium mines. Weakened federal rules regulating the disposal and storage of coal ash waste from power plants. A second phase of this rollback is still under way. Delayed by two years an E. Ordered the E. Repealed an Obama-era regulation that would have nearly doubled the number of light bulbs subject to energy-efficiency standards starting in January Energy Department Read more.

Prohibited funding environmental and community development projects through corporate settlements of federal lawsuits. Justice Department Read more. Announced intent to stop payments to the Green Climate Fund , a United Nations program to help poorer countries reduce carbon emissions.

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  4. Reversed restrictions on the sale of plastic water bottles in national parks desgined to cut down on litter, despite a Park Service report that the effort worked. Proposed limiting the studies used by the E. The move was widely criticized by scientists, who said it would effectively block the agency from considering landmark research that relies on confidential health data. Proposed changes to the way cost-benefit analyses are conducted under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other environmental statutes.

    Proposed withdrawing efficiency standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters designed to reduce energy use. Initially withdrew then delayed a proposed rule that would inform car owners about fuel-efficient replacement tires. The Transportation Department has scheduled a new rulemaking notice for Reinstated a rule aimed at improving safety at facilities that use hazardous chemicals following a federal court order.

    Delayed a compliance deadline for new national ozone pollution standards by one year, but later reversed course. Suspended an effort to lift restrictions on mining in Bristol Bay, Alaska.

    But the Army Corps of Engineers is performing an environmental review of an application for mining in the area. Delayed implementation of a rule regulating the certification and training of pesticide applicators , but a judge ruled that the E. Initially delayed publishing efficiency standards for household appliances , but later published them after multiple states and environmental groups sued. Delayed federal building efficiency standards until Sept. Open Close Overview Our Approach.

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