New Regulatory Agencies

New federal agencies were created, and others reorganized, to implement these new control programs. The most important federal pollution control entity is now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), created in 1972. The EPA is the nation's largest regulatory agency with 18,000 employees, a 2002 budget exceeding $7.5 billion, and responsibility to fully or partially implement all the nation's important pollution control laws. In 1970 the President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), a much smaller agency, was created within the White House to advise the President on environmental affairs. At the same time, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was created within the U.S. Department of Commerce to conduct research on and monitoring of ocean and atmospheric pollution. The authority and staff of many other federal agencies concerned with environmental quality, such as the Department of the Interior, were also vastly expanded to implement new pollution control programs. These agencies also provide research support and grants to the states to facilitate the enforcement of pollution control laws. The EPA, for instance, has distributed more than $150 billion in grants to state and local governments to upgrade their sewage treatment systems.

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