Research Paper On The Marine Protection, Research And Sanctuaries Act Of 1972

606 words - 3 pages

The Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) was passed by Congress and signed into law in 1972 in order to combat the uncontrolled contamination of U. S. waters. According to EPA records, before legislation such as the MPRSA and Clean Water Act were passed in the 1970's, the United States and many other countries saw the ocean and waterways as nature's landfill. Hazardous chemicals, radioactive and industrial waste, contaminated sediment, and raw sewage would be dumped into the ocean freely around the world. However, global recognition of the problem culminated in 1972 when the United States and over 30 countries convened the London Convention, the first international agreement to regulate the effects of human activities on the marine environment. This convention, along with the already increasing awareness of the harm being done to nation's waters, prompted the passage of the MPRSA to establish official guidelines to monitor the dumping of all substances that could threaten the safety and health of humans, plants, and wildlife.

The MPRSA consists of five main sections, or "Titles". Titles I and II make up the bulk of the law and are commonly referred to distinctly as the "Ocean Dumping Act". The first title requires that no waste may be dumped into waters under United States jurisdiction without a proper permit supplied by either the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The EPA evaluates all permit applications besides those for dredged material, which is reviewed by USACE, and chooses specific locations that may be used for disposal. Title I also outlines the penalties for illegal dumping, which can include a fine of $125, 000 for even a first time offense. Moreover, the U. S. Coast Guard is charged with the responsibility of surveilling unlawful dumping and enforcing these penalties.

Title II addresses the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)...

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