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General State-wide Information

Delegation by Environmental Act

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Delegation by Environmental Act

Summary Data (December 2007, Updated November 2010)

96 Percent of Programs Delegated to States

The US EPA is obligated to delegate authority to operate many federal environmental programs to the States who meet the qualifications. Most of the delegable programs are now operated by the States. Delegation usually includes permitting, inspections, monitoring and enforcement, and often includes standards setting. Here is the latest data:

RCRA (Hazardous Waste)

Not delegated = AK, IA


NPDES (Clean Water Act)

Not delegated = ID, MA, NH, NM


Air (Clean Air Act)



DW PWSS (Safe Drinking Water Act)

WY not delegated



193/200, 96.5%

Detailed Data (2001)

As of 2001, over 75% of the federal environmental programs that can be delegated have been delegated to the States.

Most federal environmental programs were intended to be administered by the States. The assumption of partial or full control over one of these programs is known as "delegation." In order for delegation to occur, the state legislature must have passed authorizing legislation that is at least as stringent as the federal standard while demonstrating the State has adequate resources to run the program. The State then files a petition with the EPA. Most programs are delegated in a piecemeal fashion, allowing the State to advance incrementally as greater resources are available. Over the years, ECOS has tracked a steady increase in the number of programs delegated to the States.

The following links lead to pages organizing delegation information by each Act:

CAA (Clean Air Act)
CWA (Clean Water Act)
EPCRA (Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act)
FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodendicide Act)
OPA (Oil Pollution Act)
RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act)
SDWA (Safe Drinking Water Act)
TSCA (Toxic Substances Control Act)

Key to the Abbreviations Used in Delegation Tables