This course begins with an overview of the ecological and economic justifications for government regulation to protect the environment. It then examines different strategies and tools for doing so. The primary focus is on three major federal antipollution statutes: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and Superfund. In addition, we will consider the common law as a source of environmental protection, Environmental Impact Statements and other information-based regulatory strategies and economic instruments such as emission taxes and marketable permits.
As time permits, we will also examine, though more quickly, a variety of mechanisms for the protection of natural resources, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act, and land use regulation. However, this is primarily a course about pollution and the protection of public health; we will not spend much time on natural resource issues, wilderness protection, endangered species and the like.
Finally, we will devote a couple of classes to the developing law of climate change. In general, the focus of the course is on U.S. environmental law, but some attention will be devoted to the international legal regime regarding emissions of greenhouse gases.
This is a survey course. Because environmental law is predominantly statutory, students will have to come to grips with some statutory minutia; there is a statutory supplement. The overall goal, however, is not to learn the endless details of these complex statutes but to introduce the basic problems and approaches that characterize contemporary environmental regulation.
Section Offerings for 2012-13
|M. Gerrard||TR 9:10 AM-10:30 AM||WJWH L104|
Choose a section for more information, including section descriptions, faculty, course limitations, syllabi, evaluations, points, writing credit eligibility, evaluation methods, textbooks, and learning outcome goals.