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Environmental Law  

Last Updated: Sep 8, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA is the federal agency most involved with environmental law.  The EPA is tasked with "a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection."  (About the EPA, available at the EPA's history page)

The EPA's website contains a great deal of information, especially under the heading Laws & Regulations.


South Dakota Agencies

South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources

"The mission of DENR is to protect public health and the environment by providing environmental monitoring and natural resource assessment, technical and financial assistance for environmental projects, and environmental regulatory services; all done with reduced red tape, expanded e-government functions, and exceptional customer service to promote a prosperous economy while protecting South Dakota's environment and natural resources for today and tomorrow" (About Us, available at

Board of Minerals and Environment

"The Board of Minerals and Environment is a quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial citizen's board consisting of nine members appointed by the Governor [and] is responsible for promulgating and enforcing rules and issuing permits for . . . department programs [concerning] Air Quality; Asbestos; Solid Waste; Hazardous Waste; Mineral Exploration; Mining; and Oil and Gas Exploration and Production.  In addition to adopting rules, the Board of Minerals and Environment is also responsible for conducting contested case hearings" (Board of Minerals and Environmetn, available at



Other Federal Agencies and Organizations

There are many other federal agencies and organizations that are involved in environmental law issues:

Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a bureau within the Department of the Interior, [whose] mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people." (About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, available at

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)


"The Bureau of Land Management['s] (BLM) . . . mission: To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. It administers more public land – over 245 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency in the United States. Most of this land is located in the 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also manages 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation."

National Park Services (NPS)

The National Park Service is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior.  The NPS manages the approximately 400 parks in the National Park System.

U.S. Forest Service

"The Forest Service is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Forest Service manages public lands in national forests and grasslands." (U.S. Forest Service - About Us, available at

Bureau of Reclamation

A division of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the mission of the Bureau is to "assist in meeting the increasing water demands of the West while protecting the environment and the public's investment in these structures."  (Bureau of Reclamation - About Us, available at

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM)

OSM is a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Interior, "responsible for establishing a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations, under which OSM is charged with balancing the nation’s need for continued domestic coal production with protection of the environment." (OSM - About Us, available at

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)

CEQ was established within the Executive Office of the President by Congress, and "coordinates Federal environmental efforts and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental policies and initiatives." (The Council on Environmental Quality - About, available at

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Organized under the U.S. Department of Commerce, "NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans and coasts; to share that knowledge and information with others and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources." (NOAA's Mission, available at

National Resources Conservation Service

The NRCS is an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and works with private landowners "through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems." (About NRCS, available at

Department of Justice - Environment & Natural Resources Division

"The mission of the Environment and Natural Resources Division is, through litigation in the federal and state courts, to safeguard and enhance the American environment; acquire and manage public lands and natural resources; and protect and manage Indian rights and property." (Department of Justice Agencies, available at

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

ATSDR is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "ATSDR serves the public by using the best science, taking responsive public health actions, and providing trusted health information to prevent harmful exposures and diseases related to toxic substances." (ATSDR Home, available at


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