Regulatory and Guidance Information by Topic: Cross-Cutting Issues
These topics cut across various environmental concerns, for example affecting both air emissions and wastewater regulations.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
- Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) / Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
- Artificial Intelligence
- Children’s Health
- Endangered Species, Wildlife, and Marine Life
- Environmental Justice
- Federal Advisory Committees
- International Cooperation
- Permits/ID Numbers
- Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
- Pollution Prevention (P2)
- Small Businesses
- Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)
- Tribal Governments
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) / Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs)
EPA regulations protect both air and water quality from emissions and other pollution from AFOs and CAFOs. CAFOs are point sources, as defined by the Clean Water Act (CWA), and may be regulated under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program.
Laws and Regulations
- Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Compliance Monitoring: information about inspections, evaluations and investigations.
- EPA's strategy for use of artificial intelligence in regulatory and non-regulatory approaches and promotion of technology, innovation, and scientific integrity.
EPA regulates asbestos in school buildings, public and commercial buildings, at clean-up sites, and in certain asbestos products. EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are also responsible for regulating environmental exposure and protecting workers from asbestos exposure.
Many states administer their own asbestos programs, and your home state department of environmental protection or health is generally the best place to start with questions about requirements and/or regulations that may apply to any given asbestos situation; Find your state asbestos contact.
Laws and Regulations
- Asbestos Demolition and Renovation Compliance Monitoring: information about inspections, evaluations and investigations under the Asbestos NESHAP.
- Asbestos Compliance Monitoring (TSCA): Information about inspections, evaluations and investigations under TSCA.
- Asbestos and Small Business Ombudsman
Policy and Guidance
- Asbestos NESHAP: including demolition practices, adequately wet guidance, and asbestos containing materials (ACM) guidance.
EPA administers several different types of training and certification. You can find a general list at Getting Certified by EPA .
As the Nation’s principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of our nationally owned public lands and natural resources.
EPA regulates energy use to protect human health and the environment. Find information about energy-related regulations, programs, and partnerships here:
- Clean Air Markets: market-based regulatory programs designed to improve air quality by reducing outdoor concentrations of fine particles, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury.
- Clean Energy: programs identifying, designing and implementing clean energy policy and technology solutions.
- Radiation: radiation protection standards.
- Stationary sources: air pollution regulations for power plants, chemical plants, oil refineries, and more.
- Transportation: air pollution regulations for cars and vehicles, fuels, and more.
- Underground Injection Control Program: regulations for the construction, operation, permitting, and closure of injection wells that place fluids underground for storage or disposal.
Energy codes for residential and commercial buildings, or appliances and commercial equipment, are available from the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program.
Other energy-related regulation information may be available from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Endangered Species, Wildlife, and Marine Life
Other agencies besides EPA take the lead on protecting endangered species. The lead federal agencies for implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service.
- Endangered Species Protection Program: pesticides and endangered species
Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
Federal Advisory Committees
- International Import and Export: Information about importing and exporting a number of materials which may pose a risk to human health and the environment.
- International Programs: Environment, Trade, and Finance
- Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement: Rights and obligations of Canada and the United States under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
- International Cooperation main site
- International Waste Agreements
- Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer: this treaty is the basis on which Title VI of the Clean Air Act was established.
- Selected Multilateral Environmental Instruments in Force for the U.S.: international treaties, protocols, and other agreements.
Congress has passed a number of laws related to lead. These laws address lead in paint, dust and soil; lead in the air; lead in water; and disposal of lead wastes.
Regulatory, compliance and enforcement information for lead can be found at:
Other federal agencies also play a role in protecting human health from the harmful effects of lead. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) identifies and regulates sources of lead exposure in consumer products such as jewelry or children’s toys. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sets standards for evaluation and management of lead in federally assisted housing, and promotes efforts to reduce lead hazards in privately owned housing.
Under certain federal environmental statutes, such as the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), EPA has the responsibility to develop regulations to control some mercury emissions to air, water, or from wastes and products.
Laws and Regulations
- Mercury Laws: This page has information on mercury-specific laws and international agreements, including the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) and the Battery Act.
Please see the frequent question, "How do I get an EPA ID number?"
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFOA and PFOS are the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals.
Policy and Guidance
- EPA Actions to Address PFAS contain information about data, assessments, guidance, strategies, and related documents.
Pollution Prevention (P2)
The Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) established the national policy that pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible.
Get help with regulatory and compliance questions using Resources for Small Businesses. You can also find regulatory and compliance information by your sector.
- Small Entities and Rulemaking
- Small Entity Compliance Guides
- Small Business Compliance Policy (PDF) (256K)
Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)
In general, a “settlement agreement” is an agreement that resolves a lawsuit between two parties. As part of a settlement agreement, an alleged violator may voluntarily agree to undertake an environmentally beneficial SEP related to the violation in exchange for mitigation of the penalty to be paid.