Legislative Action Follows

Public sentiment supporting legislation protecting the environment led to the creation of the Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Endangered Species Act during the Nixon and Ford administrations. Safe drinking water laws were enacted during the Carter Administration, demonstrating bipartisan support for laws protecting the environment for the benefit and safety of American citizens.

| 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | Key |

(click dates to view more detailed information)


| 1971 |

The California Environmental Quality Act (California Public Resources Code section 2100 et seq) was signed into law in 1970 and took effect January 1st, a year after the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was enacted.

| 1972 |

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq), the Clean Water Act, was signed into law in October. (Legislators were highly motivated to protect the “Waters of the U.S.,” because navigable rivers must remain clear for United States’ security, which led to the involvement of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The USACE has jurisdiction over all navigational waters—with oversight by the EPA.)

99% of wetlands and streams are protected under the Clean Water Act. To maintain navigable waters, wetlands cannot be lost: the concept of “no net loss” of wetlands is introduced. (See Key.)

| 1973 |

The Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq) was signed into law in December. In California, the bald eagle became a protected species, leading to species-based conservation.

| 1974 |

Safe Drinking Water Act passed and went into effect in 1977.



Conservation Bank – Mitigation banking approach to endangered species

Guidance – Non-binding statement issued by a government agency that advises how an organization can comply with legislation

Memorandum of Agreement – Written understanding of the agreement of cooperation between parties

Mitigation Bank – Restoration, creation, enhancement, or preservation of wetlands or streams that offsets expected adverse impacts to nearby wetlands or streams. Developers buy credits from USACE-permitted banks to fulfill requirements to offset impacts per the Clean Water Act to gain 404 permits and move forward with their projects.

No Net Loss – One acre of restored or preserved wetlands for every one acre of impacted wetlands, ensuring that No Net Loss of wetlands occurs

Rule – Administrative rules are officially promulgated agency regulations that have the force and effect of law. Generally these rules elaborate the requirements of a law or policy. http://definitions.uslegal.com/a/administrative-rule/


Mitigation Timeline information compiled and summarized from various sources, including:
Carroll, Nathaniel, Jessica Fox, and Ricardo Bayon. Conservation and Biodiversity Banking: A Guide to Setting Up and Running Biodiversity Credit Trading Systems. London and Sterling: Earthscan, 2008. Print.
Denny, Jemma. Personal Interview. July 2012.
EPA at 40. 2012. United States Environmental Protection Agency. July 2012. http://www.epa.gov/40th.


Read about: Growing Acceptance and Implementation of Mitigation