The U.S Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970 amended the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The importance of the Act lies in the additional responsibilities that it vested on the Council on Environmental Quality. This Council has cabinet status and the head of this council is appointed by the president.
The Act states that the purpose for its enactment was to assure that each Federal department and agency conducting or supporting public works activities which affect the environment shall implement the policies established under existing law; and to authorize the office of environmental quality to provide professional and administrative staff for the Council on Environmental Quality. The Office of environmental quality was established in the executive office of the President. The chairman of the Council of environmental quality was to be the director of the office of environmental quality. The President was to appoint the Deputy Director of the Office of environmental quality with the advice and consent of the Senate. The compensation of the Director, the appointment of personnel, experts and consultants, their compensation, duties and functions of the Director and the Director’s authority to contract with public or private agencies is discussed in the Act. The duties of the director include the following:
“The Director shall assist and advise the President on policies and programs of the Federal Government affecting environmental quality by –
(1) providing the professional and administrative staff and support for the Council
on Environmental Quality established by Public Law 91-190.
(2) assisting the Federal agencies and departments in appraising the effectiveness
of existing and proposed facilities, programs, policies, and activities of the
Federal Government, and those specific major projects designated by the
President which do not require individual project authorization by Congress,
which affect environmental quality;
(3) reviewing the adequacy of existing systems for monitoring and predicting
environmental changes in order to achieve effective coverage and efficient use of
research facilities and other resources;
(4) promoting the advancement of scientific knowledge of the effects of actions
and technology on the environment and encourage the development of the means
to prevent or reduce adverse effects that endanger the health and well-being of
(5) assisting in coordinating among the Federal departments and agencies those
programs and activities which affect, protect, and improve environmental quality;
(6) assisting the Federal departments and agencies in the development and
interrelationship of environmental quality criteria and standards established
through the Federal Government;
(7) collecting, collating, analyzing, and interpreting data and information on
environmental quality, ecological research, and evaluation.”
The Act further provides that every Environmental Quality Report transmitted to the congress shall be referred to each standing committee having jurisdiction over any part of the subject matter of the report.