Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and disposal of toxic substances. The EPA engages in research, monitoring, and the setting and enforcement of national standards. It administers the Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, popularly called "Superfund," an act aimed at restoring toxic waste sites by making the responsible parties finance their cleanup. It also issues statements on the impact of operations of other federal agencies that are detrimental to environmental quality, and it supports the antipollution activities of states, municipalities, and public and private groups.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.