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Does Your Pollution Impose on Those Who Don’t Have the Opportunity to Pollute? by Hannah Shangraw

Posted by: | May 6, 2014 Comments Off on Does Your Pollution Impose on Those Who Don’t Have the Opportunity to Pollute? by Hannah Shangraw |

Most pollution laws focus on companies and not individuals. Current laws do not focus on limiting or holding accountable individuals in regards to how they affect the environment. For instance, the Pollution Prevention Act (Act) was created in 1990. The Act focuses on reduction or prevention of pollution from the source (specifically company sources that can be controlled through State implementation of standards).[i] Pollution prevention, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is “reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream.”[ii] Definition seems to focus more on pollution from companies rather than from both companies and individuals. The Act encouraged State implementation for source reduction and recycling, granting $16 million per year for implementation.[iii] Since the Pollution Prevention Act in 1990, Congress has enacted numerous acts to take on pollution. However, each of the effective acts focuses on what can be done on a larger scale through standards for companies building or modifying their business facilities.[iv] In order to make a greater impact, individuals also need to be held accountable for their contribution to pollution. Accountability would bring an awareness to the effect individuals have in regards to pollution.


[i] 42 USC §13101 et seq.

[ii] U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, definitions for Pollution Prevention. http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/p2policy/definitions.htm

[iii] 42 USC §13101 et seq.

[iv] Some of the newer acts: Clean Air Act, Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Water Act, and National Environmental Act. Explanations of these 6 acts can be found at http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/p2policy/provisions.htm.

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under: Climate Change, General, International
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