“The United States and the world face a profound climate crisis. We have a narrow moment to pursue action at home and abroad in order to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of that crisis and to seize the opportunity that tackling climate change presents. Domestic action must go hand in hand with United States international leadership, aimed at significantly enhancing global action. Together, we must listen to science and meet the moment."
The first Earth Day was held in San Francisco in 1970. The initial focus was on the United States and as a protest to the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development. Earth Day 1970 led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, and it also signaled the beginning of new environmental laws to start being a part of the legislative agenda, including passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and the Endangered Species Acts. In 1990, Earth Day became a global event coordinated by the Earth Day Network. The Earth Day Network’s mission is to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. This year’s theme “Restore Our Earth,” is focused on emerging green technologies and innovative thinking that can restore the world's ecosystems.
Clean Air Act and Amendments
77 Stat. 392 - Clean Air Act - December 17, 1963
Clean Air Act*
81 Stat. 485 - Air Quality Act of 1967 - November 21, 1967
84 Stat. 1676 - Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970 – December 31, 1970
91 Stat. 685 - Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977 - August 7, 1977
Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977*
104 Stat. 2399 - Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 - November 15, 1990
Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990*
42 U.S.C. 7401 - Clean Air Act
Clean Water Act and Amendments
86 Stat. 816 - An Act to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act - October 18, 1972
Clean Water Act (Federal Water Pollution Control Act)*
91 Stat.1566 - Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments - December 27, 1977
101 Stat. 7 - Water Quality Act of 1987 - February 4, 1987
33 U.S.C. 26 - Water Pollution Prevention and Control
83 Stat. 852 - National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 - January 1, 1970
87 Stat. 884 - Endangered Species Act - December 28, 1973
Endangered Species Act of 1973*
94 Stat. 2767 - Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) - December 11, 1980
102 Stat. 2779 - Plastic Pollution Control Act of 1987 - October, 28, 1988
*This links to a Statute Compilation, which is a compilation of the public law, as amended, and is an unofficial document and should not be cited as legal evidence of the law. Learn more.
- Earth Day Network, the official Earth Day site
- EPA Summary of the Clean Air Act - 42 U.S.C. s7401 et seq. (1970)
- EPA Summary of the Clean Water Act - 33 U.S.C. s1251 et seq. (1972)
- Explore EPA’s Earth Day website for lesson ideas for teachers , for homework resources for students , and community service project ideas.
- To support the celebration of Earth Day, The U.S. Government Publishing Office offers for sale new and classic official environmental publications that present both scientific and practical information to protect and improve the nation's air, foster the protection of plant and animal species and their habitats, help protect human health, and promote a cleaner and healthier environment for the American people.