“Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.” - Albert Einstein

Aquinas College

The Federal Government


U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters solar thermal system provides hot water for the building in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Patricia Plympton, NREL PIX number 07420


Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Superfund

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, was enacted by Congress on December 11, 1980. This law created a tax on the chemical and petroleum industries and provided broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. Over five years, $1.6 billion was collected and the tax went to a trust fund for cleaning up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.

Green Building Pages

This site is a good source for information regarding cities and government entities that encourage sustainable building design & greenroof projects.

Major Environmental Laws

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) site contains a listing of the major environmental laws at the federal level with comprehensible descriptions of each.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

The basic purposes of NEPA are to declare a national policy to encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment, to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and the biosphere, and stimulate the health and welfare of man. The NEPA also was formed to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality.

Pew Charitable Trusts

The Pew Charitable Trusts partners with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations, and concerned citizens to improve society in a variety of ways. One section of their work focuses on the environment. Pew educates the “public and policy makers about the causes, consequences and solutions to environmental problems.” They “actively promote strong conservation policies in the United States and internationally.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

This site provides links to many EPA programs and tools that contribute to sustainability. These are organized into three main areas, including planning and practices, scientific tools and technology, and measuring progress.

Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo by Carol Y. Swinehart, courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant Extension
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