Environmental Policy 1995-2000
Updated: Oct 18, 2022
Happy early autumn! Whether you’re back to school or just ready for some cooler weather, we hope you’re as excited for September as we are. This issue, we are rounding out our coverage of 20th century federal environmental policy with a focus on 1995-2000! Though this is just a snapshot of some of the policies and orders passed in these years, you can see a growing emphasis surrounding environmental exposures, particularly in children and other vulnerable communities.
1996- Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA)
Unanimously passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton, the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) was designed to “... tighten standards for pesticides used to grow food, with special protections to ensure that foods are safe for children to eat” (OA US EPA, Milestones in EPA and Environmental History). In addition to setting regulations regarding pesticide residue on food, the EPA created methods of better assessing pesticide risk for ‘real life situations’ like exposure through drinking water or through residential exposure (OP US EPA). According to the EPA website, “Using these newly-developed methodologies, EPA completed the reassessment of the 9,721 pesticide tolerances” and revoked or modified the acceptable tolerance level of 4,000 of them (OP US EPA).
1997- Protection for Children Against Environmental Risks
Via executive order, President Bill Clinton required all federal agencies to maintain, “... a high priority to addressing health and safety risks to children, coordinate research priorities on children's health, and ensure that their standards take into account special risks to children” (OA US EPA, History of Children’s Environmental Health Protection at EPA). This order lead the EPA to create the Office of Children's Health Protection, which in its 25 years of operation, has done major works including increasing the environmental literacy of healthcare providers and communicating environmental contaminants that can lead to childhood disease with the public (OA US EPA, About the Office of Children’s Health Protection (OCHP)).
2000- Pesticide Ban
In line with testing requirements established in the Food Quality Protection Act, EPA Commissioner Browner announced a total ban on the manufacturing and use of the pesticide Chlorpyrifos, commercially known as Dursban, which at the time was one of the the most widely used household pesticide in the United States (OA US EPA, Dursban Announcement). The primary concern with Chlorpyrifos was the way it interacted with the nervous system, after studies found that it caused fetal brain damage in rats (“EPA To Ban Common Pesticide”).
Join us next month for our coverage of policies from 2001-2005!
EPA To Ban Common Pesticide.” AP NEWS, https://apnews.com/article/676c9c9d7085942d73cf30fa027093d1. Accessed 1 Sept. 2022.
US EPA, OA. About the Office of Children’s Health Protection (OCHP). 29 Jan. 2013, https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-office-childrens-health-protection-ochp.
EPA . Dursban Announcement. https://archive.epa.gov/epa/aboutepa/dursban-announcement.html. Accessed 1 Sept. 2022.
EPA. History of Children’s Environmental Health Protection at EPA. 19 Sept. 2013, https://www.epa.gov/children/history-childrens-environmental-health-protection-epa.
EPA. Milestones in EPA and Environmental History. 20 May 2020, https://www.epa.gov/history/milestones-epa-and-environmental-history.
US EPA, OP. Summary of the Food Quality Protection Act. 4 Sept. 2015, https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-food-quality-protection-act.