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The United States outstrip all countries of the world in standards of economic development. Industrial and agricultural production, energy industry, transport infrastructure are set to a high level. However, all these benefits are achieved by increasing the load on the environment and constant pollution.
US environmental activity originates in the XIX century. The first national park in the world was established in 1872; an important regulation on air pollution was adopted in 1880, and in 1903 the first reserve was created. In 1908 president Theodore Roosevelt initiated the working out of the environmental policy, and a year later the National Committee for the Conservation of Nature was created in the United States.
The rapid industrialization that began in the United States at the beginning of the last century, has given the country the opportunity to experience its devastating consequences the first. By mid-century, most industrialized and urbanized regions of the United States were on the verge of ecological disaster. Gross use of natural resources: open pit mining, the growing number of cars, the huge scale of industrial emissions into the air and water were not considered a serious threat to life and health of people and wildlife.
The growth of cities and the increase of industrial production led to the perilous situation with the environmental pollution. Soon, scientists and experts have proven that air and water pollution have unwholesome influence on health, as they contain harmful impurities. Since that moment development of measures of protection the environment began.
In the second half of the XX century a series of federal laws on the protection of natural resources had been adopted in the United States and the national policy on the environment had been defined. Expenses on measures of the protection of nature were legislatively secured.
The legal system of the United States has identified environmental protection as a separate branch of law called to implement the principles of environmentally friendly economic development.
The Ministry of Interior affairs runs the system of national parks and manages the fisheries. On the regional level state governments in cooperation with the local offices of ministries and federal agencies are engaged in management of the natural environment.
Environmental activities of the country including adopted laws and programs have borne fruit. For example, the Great Lakes, heavily contaminated with harmful emissions, are restored today and returned to their former beauty. There are programs for the protection of certain species of animals. There are many national parks in the United States: Niagara, Yellowstone, etc.
Today the problem of air pollution remains. Smog annoys inhabitants of megacities, and its main sources are industry and cars. Scientists and ecologists are working on the concept of economic development aimed at reducing emissions of harmful gases at 1/6 while maintaining the level of economic development.
Solid waste is another acute problem facing the country. One of the solutions adopted in the United States is sorting of solid waste and salvage reception. Over one third of waste is now used as secondary raw materials, without their disposal from the agglomerations. 60% of steel in the United States is produced through the processing of scrap metal. This principle has already been introduced in the production of glass and paper.
National program "Green Economy" is aimed at reducing emissions and the creation of environmentally friendly production.
So far the country has not established a single program for the introduction of environmental standards. But the governments of the states develop their own programs of support and development of national parks and reserves, implement measures for the protection of forests and initiate the transition to environmentally friendly equipment, including car engines.
Environmental programs of the US government are supported by business. Business circles sponsor the environmental defense funds, a program of transition to ecological standards of conduct, take some natural complexes under protection and invest in renovations of industry and changing transport to eco-standards.
A significant contribution to the solution of environmental problems is made by non-governmental organizations of various levels: Chemical Manufacturers Association, "Ecology and Environment", "Nature Conservancy" and others.
Environmental policy in the United States is already perceived by society as a norm of modern life, and the rules of environmentally oriented behavior such as ban on smoking in public places, fines for environmental pollution have a broad public support.
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