October 11, 1976
The Toxic Substances Control Act mandates the EPA to control all new and existing chemical substances being used in the United States. The Act controls polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and other toxic products, although the management of existing chemicals are grandfathered and untouched by the act.
June 15, 1978
The Supreme Court uses the 1973 Endangered Species Act as reason to stop the construction of the Tellico Dam in the Tennessee Valley Authority vs. Hill case. The decision upholds the rights of an endangered species over unrestricted expansion, and reflects growing American opposition to dam construction.
October 17, 1986
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), a subset of the Superfund Amendments and Reorganization Act (SARA), requires industries to report toxic releases to the general public. The federal law creates the new State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) to enforce these new requirements.
January 20, 2001
Bill Clinton leaves the presidency after protecting 58 million acres of national forest from development and creating eight million acres of land as new national monuments. Clinton’s conservation record is better than any president since Theodore Roosevelt, whose protection of 230 million acres of land as parks, wilderness, national forests and wildlife preserves remains unequalled.
March 30, 2009
President Obama signs the largest wilderness protection bill in 15 years, protecting two million acres in nine states; mostly in California, followed by Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia, New Mexico and Michigan.
"This legislation guarantees that we will not take our forests, rivers, oceans, national parks, monuments and wilderness areas for granted.”— PRESIDENT OBAMA