This chapter focuses on four federal agencies that bear some responsibility for protecting the nation's natural resources and environment, namely the Environmental Protection Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers in the Department of Defense, and the Office of Surface Mining and Minerals Management Service in the Department of Interior. Flush with resources and backed by strong public opinion, the environmental agencies initially generated a healthy flow of proactive implementing regulations that they vigorously enforced against some of the most powerful corporations in the country. Congress no longer appeared capable of enacting legislation to address emerging environmental problems. The last two significant environmental statutes were the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990 and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
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