Cross-Cutting Issues

Topics that cut across various environmental laws, regulations, or programs.

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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

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Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) / Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)

EPA regulations protect both air and water quality from emissions and other pollution from AFOs and CAFOs. CAFOs are point sources, as defined by the Clean Water Act (CWA), and may be regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program.

See also:

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Animal Waste

For a general overview, see Animal Waste: What’s the Problem?

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Asbestos

EPA regulates asbestos in school buildings, public and commercial  buildings, at clean-up sites, and in certain asbestos products. EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are also responsible for regulating environmental exposure and protecting workers from asbestos exposure.

Many states administer their own asbestos programs, and your home state department of environmental protection or health is generally the best place to start with questions about requirements and/or regulations that may apply to any given asbestos situation.  Find your state asbestos contact.

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Children’s Health

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Climate Change

EPA is taking a common-sense approach to developing standards for greenhouse gas emissions from mobile and stationary sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA).

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Conservation

As the Nation’s principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of our nationally owned public lands and natural resources.

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Energy

EPA regulates energy use to protect human health and the environment.  Find information about energy-related regulations, programs, and partnerships here:

  • Clean Air Markets: market-based regulatory programs designed to improve air quality by reducing outdoor concentrations of fine particles, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury.
  • Clean Energy:  programs identifying, designing and implementing clean energy policy and technology solutions.
  • Radiation: radiation protection standards.
  • Stationary sources: air pollution regulations for power plants, chemical plants, oil refineries, and more.
  • Transportation: air pollution regulations for cars and vehicles, fuels, and more.
  • Underground Injection Control Program: regulations for the construction, operation, permitting, and closure of injection wells that place fluids underground for storage or disposal.

Energy codes for residential and commercial buildings, or appliances and commercial equipment, are available from the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program.  

Other energy-related regulation information may be available from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

See also:

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Endangered Species, Wildlife, and Marine Life

Other agencies besides EPA take the lead on protecting endangered species. The lead federal agencies for implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service.

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Environmental Justice

Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

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Federal Advisory Committees

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Import/Export

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International Cooperation

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Lead

Congress has passed a number of laws related to lead. These laws address lead in paint, dust and soil; lead in the air; lead in water; and disposal of lead wastes.

Regulatory, compliance and enforcement information for lead can be found at:

Other federal agencies also play a role in protecting human health from the harmful effects of lead. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)  identifies and regulates sources of lead exposure in consumer products such as jewelry or children’s toys.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)  sets standards for evaluation and management of lead in federally assisted housing, and promotes efforts to reduce lead hazards in privately owned housing.   

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Mercury

Under certain federal environmental statutes, such as the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), EPA has the responsibility to develop regulations to control some mercury emissions to air, water, or from wastes and products.

  • Laws and Regulations
    • Mercury: Laws and Regulations: mercury-specific laws, regulations, standards, guidance, technical assistance resources, and support documents. This portal includes information on the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) and the Battery Act.

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Nanotechnology

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Permits/ID Numbers

Please see the frequent question, "How do I get an EPA ID number?"

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Pollution Prevention (P2)

The Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) established the national policy that pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible.

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Small Businesses

Get help with regulatory and compliance questions from the Asbestos and Small Business Ombudsman.  You can also find regulatory and compliance information by your sector.

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Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)

In general, a “settlement agreement” is an agreement that resolves a lawsuit between two parties.  As part of a settlement agreement, an alleged violator may voluntarily agree to undertake an environmentally beneficial SEP related to the violation in exchange for mitigation of the penalty to be paid.

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Tribal Governments

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