Environmental Policy

Archive Report

Midpoint in the Environmental Decade

Assessment of Environmental Act After 5 Years

Five Years Ago, on New Year's Day 1970, the National Environmental Policy Act (PL 91–190) was signed into law. It was a brief document, as federal laws go, only five pages long. But its purpose was broad: “To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality.”

President Nixon made the signing ceremony his first official act of the new decade, saying that ...

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