The United States Congress has passed several key pieces of environmental legislation that have helped to preserve and protect our nations natural heritage;
1) The River and Harbors Act of 1899: First piece of legislation that sought to address sanitation issues around docks and landings.
2) The Antiquities Act of 1906: Allows the president to set aside any piece of federal land as national park. Theodore Roosevelt utilized this to preserve the Grand Canyon.
3) The Endangered Species Act of 1973: Legislation that was designed to protect endangered species from extinction. It is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.
4) Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974: The main law that insures clean drinking water by establishing federal guidelines and overseeing all the states.
5) Clean Air Act of 1990: Proposed emission trading (cap and trade) and had provision for addressing acid rain, ozone depletion, and toxic air pollution