United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 04, 2023
Congressional declaration of national environmental policy
In order to carry out the policy set forth in this chapter, it is the continuing responsibility of the Federal Government to use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations of national policy, to improve and coordinate Federal plans, functions, programs, and resources to the end that the Nation may—
fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations;
assure for all Americans safe, healthful, productive, and esthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings;
attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences;
preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage, and maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity and variety of individual choice;
achieve a balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life’s amenities; and
enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources.
The Congress recognizes that each person should enjoy a healthful environment and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.
(Pub. L. 91–190, title I, § 101,
Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852.)
cite as: 42 USC 4331