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Departments Within the Executive and Legislative Branches and Their Responsibilities in the Sphere of Environmental Policy

The following charts present the various departments within the executive and legislative branches of the United States and their respective, and often overlapping, jurisdictions with regards to environmental policy:

The Executive Branch


Environmental Policy Jurisdiction

White House Office

General policy planning, Agency coordination

Office of Management and Budget

Budget for environmental issues, agency coordination and management

Council on Environmental Quality

Environmental policy, Agency coordination, Environmental impact statements

Department of Health and Human Services


Environmental Protection Agency

Air and water pollution, solid waste, radiation, pesticides, noise, toxic substances

Department of Justice

Environmental litigation

Department of the Interior

Public lands, energy, minerals, national parks

Department of Agriculture

Forestry, soil, and general conservation issues

Department of Defense

Civil works construction, dredge and fill permits, pollution control from defense facilities

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Licensing and regulation of nuclear power

Department of State

International environmental policy

Department of Commerce

Oceanic and atmospheric monitoring and research

Department of Labor

Environmental issues relating to occupational health standards

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Environmental issues relating to housing, urban parks, urban planning

Department of Transportation

Environmental issues relating to mass transportation, roads, aircraft noise, oil pollution

Department of Energy

Energy policy coordination, petroleum allocation research and development

Tennessee Valley Authority

Generation of electric power

The Legislative Branch


Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry


Committee on Appropriations


Committee on the Budget


Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Oceans, research and development, radiation, toxics

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Synthetic fuels, conservation oversight, energy budget, mines, oil shale, strip mining

Committee on Environment and Public Works

Air, drinking water, noise, nuclear energy, ocean dumping, research and development, solid waste, toxics, water

Committee on Foreign Relations

International environmental policy

Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Interagency subject area

Committee on Labor and Human Resources

Public health

Committee on Small Business

Impact of environmental regulations on small business

The House of Representatives:

Committee on Agriculture


Committee on Appropriations

Environmental appropriations

Committee on the Budget


Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

Interagency subject area - focuses primarily on coordination and implementation of environmental policy at the administrative level

Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs

Synthetic fuels, conservation oversight, energy budget, mines, oil, radiation (oversees Nuclear Regulatory Commission), strip mining

Committee on Energy and Commerce

Air, drinking water, noise, radiation, solid waste, toxics

Committee on Natural Resources

Ocean dumping

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

Noise, water pollution, water resources

Committee on Science and Technology

Research and development

Committee on Small Business

Impact of environmental regulations on small business

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