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Administrative agency: In action

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  1. Introduction
  2. Delegation ? Separation of power
    1. Toxic substance control act
  3. Judicial review
  4. Rule making
  5. Adjudication
  6. Public access
    1. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  7. Conclusion
  8. References

In 1969 shortly after being sworn in, President Nixon turned to Roy L. Ash, founder of Litton Industries, to chair an Advisory Council on Executive Organization and submit recommendations for structural reform within the federal government. President Nixon was in part reacting to a changing tide in the public's awareness of environmental issues stemming from the publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring in 1962, the enacting of federal laws such as the Clean Air Act in 1963, and the first national Earth Day held on April 22, 1970.

In addition, Congress passed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in 1969. This statute set forth the government's role in protecting and preserving the environment. Specifically, Congress intended to ?create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.? NEPA also directed President Nixon to establish a cabinet-level Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and mandated that federal agencies submit reports, called Environmental Impact Statements, which accounted for the likely consequences of certain projects on the environment.

[...] The demands of so many requests necessitate that the Agency spend great sums of resources to disclose the information within the 20-day time period.[43] Nevertheless, the EPA is often unable to keep pace and release the requested document within the mandated period.[45] The following table illustrates FOIA requests made to the EPA and how frequently they were litigated over the past six years.[46] Requests documents) documents) Requests documents) documents) Most Cited Reason for Commercial/financial Inter/intra-agency From Denied Requests completely reversed) completely reversed) If the EPA fails to respond to a properly submitted request within the 20- day timeframe, parties may seek judicial review without first making an administrative appeal.[47] However, if the agency denies a request, an appeal must be made no later than 30 days from the date of the letter denying the request to the Headquarters' Freedom of Information Staff.[48] Parties are permitted to seek judicial review in federal court if they are dissatisfied with the determination made by Headquarters' FOIA Office.[49] Public Meetings and Committees The primary purpose of EPA's Office of Cooperative Environmental Management (OCEM) is to lead the Agency's advisory committee process and work as a catalyst for public participation in national and international decision- making processes. [...]

[...] In other words, in cases where the penalty assessed by the administrative law judge is within the penalty policy range for the violations at issue, the Environmental Appeals Board ?will generally not substitute its judgment for that of the [ALJ] absent a showing that the [ALJ] has committed an abuse of discretion or a clear error in assessing the penalty.? In re Morton L. Friedman and Schmitt Construction Company, CAA Appeal No. 02-07, slip op. at 53 (EAB. 2004). Environmental Appeals Board Practice Manual (June 2004). [...]

[...] This section as well as any questions that detail a more particular agency action will be analyzed under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). TSCA is the statute at issue in the ?Agency Action? proceedings that I attended--specifically an oral argument before the Environmental Appeals Board. Responsibilities have been added through laws such as the: Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) in 1972; Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 1976; Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1977; Superfund Act (CERCLA) in 1986; and Residential Lead Based Paint Hazardous Reduction Act in 1992. [...]

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