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Laws and Regulations


Congress and the President assign radiation protection responsibilities to EPA through laws, executive orders, and Presidential decision directives. Other responsibilities come to EPA through federal emergency response plans and regulations.

You'll find a basic description of how environmental laws and regulations are developed on EPA's Introduction to Laws and Regulation page.

On this page:

Laws We Use

Laws, also known as 'statutes,' passed by Congress give EPA both responsibilities and (statutory) authority to protect people and the environment from harmful exposure to radiation.

Executive Orders

Executive orders are official documents, numbered consecutively, through which the President of the United States manages the operations of the Federal Government. Through executive orders, the President assigns responsibility and transfers authority to EPA that shapes its radiation protection program.

Presidential Decision Directives

Presidential decision directives announce the President's decisions on foreign policy issues and national security matters.

Homeland Security Presidential Directives

In the George W. Bush Administration, Homeland Security Presidential Directives announce Presidential decisions governing homeland security policy.

Federal Emergency Response Plans

Requirements, instructions, and guidance in federal emergency response plans help define EPA's role in responding to emergencies involving radioactive materials.

Regulations We Follow

While EPA's Radiation Protection Program issues regulations and standards that direct the actions of other federal agencies, private industry, and states, the program's emergency response activities are shaped by regulations issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Regulations We Manage

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