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Environmental Law

Environmental law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Environmental Law, Jocelyn Stacey Jan 2021

Environmental Law, Jocelyn Stacey

Faculty Publications

In commemoration of their 50th anniversary, this chapter examines the Federal Courts’ role in shaping environmental law in Canada. The chapter uses well-known environmental principles – the precautionary principle, sustainable development and access to (environmental) justice – as focal points for examining environmental law as well as the legal culture of the Federal Courts. The chapter identifies four distinct interpretive roles that the Federal Courts have ascribed to the precautionary principle and it argues that three of these roles have the potential to generate more coherent and transparent doctrine that upholds the rule of law in the environmental context. In contrast, chapter ...


The Green New Deal And Green Transitions, Nicholas Bryner Jul 2020

The Green New Deal And Green Transitions, Nicholas Bryner

All Scholarship

In February 2019, Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey introduced a "Green New Deal" Resolution in Congress, calling for a tenyear mobilization toward action on climate change, socioeconomic inequality, and other issues. A Green New Deal--evoking the language of FDR-erapolicy--envisions a transition to a green economy that is integrated with concern for the social and economic welfare of those who are most harmed by environmental degradation and those who are most likely to be displaced by the reinvention ofU.S. infrastructure and energy systems. This Article addresses the need for engaging with regulatory transition theory in order to assess the legal ...


Issuance Of The Keystone Xl Permit: Presidential Prerogative Or Presidential “Chutzpah”, Hope M. Babcock May 2020

Issuance Of The Keystone Xl Permit: Presidential Prerogative Or Presidential “Chutzpah”, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article uses President Trump's issuance of the Keystone XL Pipeline permit to illustrate the dangers of an imperial presidency, one in which the exercise of discretionary authority, based on neither the text of Article II of the Constitution nor a statute, will in all likelihood be unchecked by Congress, the courts, or popular opinion. To understand the dimensions of this concern, Part I of this article briefly describes the process and requirements for a presidential permit. Part II identifies key facts surrounding issuance of the Keystone XL Pipeline permit, the chronology of its issuance, and commonly given reasons ...


Social Science And The Analysis Of Environmental Policy, Cary Coglianese, Shana Starobin Feb 2020

Social Science And The Analysis Of Environmental Policy, Cary Coglianese, Shana Starobin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

As much as environmental problems manifest themselves as problems with the natural environment, environmental problems--and their solutions--are ultimately social and behavioral in nature. Just as the natural sciences provide a basis for understanding the need for environmental policy and informing its design, the social sciences also contribute in significant ways to the understanding of the behavioral sources of environmental problems, both in terms of individual incentives and collective action challenges. In addition, the social sciences have contributed much to the understanding of the ways that laws and other institutions can be designed to solve environmental problems. In this paper, we ...


George Perkins Marsh: Anticipating The Anthropocene, Robin Kundis Craig Jan 2020

George Perkins Marsh: Anticipating The Anthropocene, Robin Kundis Craig

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

This chapter, part of the forthcoming volume PIONEERS OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, explores the vision of humanity's influence on social-ecological systems that George Perkins Marsh provided to the world in his 1964 work, MAN AND NATURE, OR PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY AS MODIFIED BY HUMAN ACTION, republished in 1874 as THE EARTH AS MODIFIED THROUGH HUMAN ACTION. In addition to tracing how Marsh and these publications influenced nature resources and environmental law in the United States well into the 20th century, this chapter also argues that Marsh anticipated, in many respects, the environmental legal and policy issues of the Anthropocene by tracing ...


Integrative Environmental Law: A Prescription For Law In The Time Of Climate Change, Alyson C. Flournoy Jan 2020

Integrative Environmental Law: A Prescription For Law In The Time Of Climate Change, Alyson C. Flournoy

UF Law Faculty Publications

As the magnitude of the threat posed by climate change has become increasingly apparent, scholars and practitioners have begun a dialogue about how to reform environmental law to meet the challenge. Concepts like adaptive management, sustainability, and resilience have emerged in succession, as policy makers and scholars search for new moorings for our ethical and legal framework. While useful, these concepts have failed to provide a vision, goal, or solid ethical grounding for environmental law in the era of climate change. This project takes a new approach by exploring what we can learn from the field of Integrative Medicine. The ...


The Deliberative Dimensions Of Modern Environmental Assessment Law, Jocelyn Stacey Jan 2020

The Deliberative Dimensions Of Modern Environmental Assessment Law, Jocelyn Stacey

Faculty Publications

Environmental assessment (EA) is a cornerstone of environmental law. It provides a legal framework for public decision making about major development projects with implications for environmental protection and the rights and title of Indigenous peoples. Despite significant literature supporting deliberation as the preferred mode of engagement with those affected by EA decisions, the specific legal demands of EA legislation remain undeveloped. This article suggests a legal foundation for deliberative environmental assessment. It argues that modern environmental assessment can be understood through three public law frames: procedural fairness, public inquiry, and framework for the duty to consult and accommodate. It further ...


Administrative Law's Extraordinary Cases, Jonathan Skinner-Thompson Jan 2020

Administrative Law's Extraordinary Cases, Jonathan Skinner-Thompson

Articles

The Supreme Court's major questions doctrine is grounded in the Chevron framework. Reconstituting it as a "major rules" exception to Chevron or as a non-delegation principle are misguided and create greater uncertainty.


Raping Indian Country, Sarah Deer, Elizabeth Kronk Warner Dec 2019

Raping Indian Country, Sarah Deer, Elizabeth Kronk Warner

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

In this article, we have examined the policies of the Trump Administration as they relate to extractive development on and near Indian country, and policies related to the protection of Native people from rape and sexual assault. As demonstrated above, the Administration’s policies are likely to increase both the environmental and physical vulnerabilities of Native people. Native people will not only likely face exasperated physical insecurity, but their environments will likely be increasingly stripped on natural resources. As a result, the raping of Indian county continues. But, this article is not without hope. At least two ways forward, improvements ...


Critical Issues In Transportation 2019: Climate Change Resilience, Vicki Arroyo Dec 2019

Critical Issues In Transportation 2019: Climate Change Resilience, Vicki Arroyo

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The climate is rapidly changing, bringing more frequent and extreme floods, droughts, and heatwaves, along with stronger hurricanes and more intense wildfires. Each year brings new record-breaking weather extremes; in the first six months of 2019, for example, a record number of U.S. counties flooded. July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded for the world as a whole (1). Climate change is also melting glaciers, reducing the amount of sea ice, and raising sea levels, bringing devastation to coastal areas. From Louisiana to Alaska, many coastal communities are forced to make difficult decisions about whether to relocate to ...


On Environmental, Climate Change & National Security Law, Mark P. Nevitt Sep 2019

On Environmental, Climate Change & National Security Law, Mark P. Nevitt

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article offers a new way to think about climate change. Two new climate change assessments — the 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA) and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel’s Special Report on Climate Change — prominently highlight climate change’s multifaceted national security risks. Indeed, not only is climate change a “super wicked” environmental problem, it also accelerates existing national security threats, acting as both a “threat accelerant” and “catalyst for conflict.” Further, climate change increases the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events while threatening nations’ territorial integrity and sovereignty through rising sea levels. It causes both internal displacement ...


Dealing With Climate Change Under The National Environmental Policy Act, Arnold W. Reitze Jr. Jun 2019

Dealing With Climate Change Under The National Environmental Policy Act, Arnold W. Reitze Jr.

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was an important environmental law for several decades before climate change became an issue of concern. Beginning in the 1990s efforts began to include in NEPA’s environmental assessments and environmental impact statements both the impact of federal government actions on climate change and the impact of climate change on proposed federal actions. These efforts were encouraged by the Council on Environmental Quality. However, implementation at the agency level has been uneven. Some Federal agencies have resisted making serious efforts to incorporate climate change impacts into their decision-making process. Moreover, the courts have not ...


The Federal Government Has An Implied Moral Constitutional Duty To Protect Individuals From Harm Due To Climate Change: Throwing Spaghetti Against The Wall To See What Sticks, Hope M. Babcock May 2019

The Federal Government Has An Implied Moral Constitutional Duty To Protect Individuals From Harm Due To Climate Change: Throwing Spaghetti Against The Wall To See What Sticks, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The continuing failure of the federal government to respond to the growing threat of climate change, despite affirmative duties to do so, creates a governance vacuum that the Constitution might help fill, if such a responsibility could be found within the document. This Article explores textual and non-textual constitutional support for that responsibility, finding that no single provision of the Constitution is a perfect fit for that responsibility. However, the document as a whole might support constitutionalizing an environmental protection norm as an individual right or affirmative government obligation given the norm's importance to the enjoyment of other constitutional ...


Agency Statutory Abnegation In The Deregulatory Playbook, William W. Buzbee May 2019

Agency Statutory Abnegation In The Deregulatory Playbook, William W. Buzbee

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

If an agency newly declares that it lacks statutory power previously claimed, how should such a move—what this article calls agency statutory abnegation—be reviewed? Given the array of strategies an agency might use to make a policy change or move the law in a deregulatory direction, why might statutory abnegation be chosen? After all, it is always a perilous and likely doctrinally disadvantageous strategy for agencies. Nonetheless, agencies from time to time have utilized statutory abnegation claims as part of their justification for deregulatory shifts. Actions by agencies during 2017 and 2018, under the administration of President Donald ...


From Paris To Pittsburgh: U.S. State And Local Leadership In An Era Of Trump, Vicki Arroyo Apr 2019

From Paris To Pittsburgh: U.S. State And Local Leadership In An Era Of Trump, Vicki Arroyo

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

States and cities have long been leaders on clean energy and climate policy. Their work has informed development of federal policies including motor vehicle standards and the Clean Power Plan. With the election of President Trump and the increasingly severe impacts of climate change, subnational leadership has become even more important and urgent. In response, many states and cities have pledged to enact new policies to mitigate the effects of climate change and help communities adapt. This Article focuses on recent developments in subnational leadership on both climate mitigation and adaptation to demonstrate the breadth and depth of engagement by ...


Just Transitions, Ann M. Eisenberg Jan 2019

Just Transitions, Ann M. Eisenberg

Faculty Publications

The transition to a low-carbon society will have winners and losers as the costs and benefits of decarbonization fall unevenly on different communities. This potential collateral damage has prompted calls for a “just transition” to a green economy. While the term, “just transition,” is increasingly prevalent in the public discourse, it remains under-discussed and poorly defined in legal literature, preventing it from helping catalyze fair decarbonization. This Article seeks to define the term, test its validity, and articulate its relationship with law so the idea can meet its potential.

The Article is the first to disambiguate and assess two main ...


Traditional Ecological Knowledge In Environmental Decisionmaking, Anthony Moffa Jan 2019

Traditional Ecological Knowledge In Environmental Decisionmaking, Anthony Moffa

Faculty Publications

Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is defined as a deep understanding of the environment developed by local communities and indigenous peoples over generations. In the United States, Canada, and around the world, indigenous peoples are increasingly advocating for incorporation of TEK into a range of environmental decisionmaking contexts, including natural resource and wildlife management, pollution standards, environmental and social planning, environmental impact assessment, and adaptation to climate change. On October 31, 2018, ELI hosted an expert panel on TEK, co-sponsored by the National Native American Bar Association and the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources. The panel discussed ...


Discordant Environmental Laws: Using Statutory Flexibility And Multi-Objective Optimization To Reconcile Conflicting Laws, Mary Jane Angelo Jan 2019

Discordant Environmental Laws: Using Statutory Flexibility And Multi-Objective Optimization To Reconcile Conflicting Laws, Mary Jane Angelo

UF Law Faculty Publications

The current morass of federal environmental laws has led to significant conflicts among statutes and the manner in which agencies implement them. In recent years, this quagmire of environmental laws has hindered the progress of a number of high-profile environmental regulatory programs and restoration projects. Neither the Courts nor legal scholars have developed approaches to resolving conflicts in a manner that harmonizes environmental statutes while at the same time protecting the most critical environmental resources. A standard methodology that optimizes the multiple objectives of environmental statutes and their implementing programs would greatly enhance decision-making and ensure that the most salient ...


Reversing Course On Environmental Justice Under The Trump Administration, Uma Outka, Elizabeth Kronk Warner Jan 2019

Reversing Course On Environmental Justice Under The Trump Administration, Uma Outka, Elizabeth Kronk Warner

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

This Article traces how policy reversals in the first years of the Trump Administration implicate protections for diverse, low-income communities in the context of environmental pollution and climate change. The environmental justice movement has drawn critical attention to the persistent inequality in exposure to environmental harms, tracking racial and income lines. As a result of decades of advocacy, environmental justice has become an established, if not realized, principle in environmental law. Shifting positions under the Trump Administration now undermine this progress. To illustrate, this Article uses three exemplary contexts — agency transition, environmental law implementation, and international relations on climate change ...


The Genie Is Out Of The De-Extinction Bottle: A Problem In Risk Regulation And Regulatory Gaps, Hope M. Babcock Jan 2019

The Genie Is Out Of The De-Extinction Bottle: A Problem In Risk Regulation And Regulatory Gaps, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Once the province of horror films and fantasy, the idea of recreating extinct life forms is poised to move from science fiction to laboratories and from there to the world at large. While “de-extinction is not something that will take place tomorrow . . . scientists are making major advancements, and eventual success appears inevitable.” Spurred on by the burgeoning field of genetic engineering, it was only a matter of time before scientists turned their attention to recreating extinct life forms, either for the thrill of it or in atonement for the human role in the extinction process.

But science appears to be ...


Sustainable Development: Energy, Justice, And Women, Lakshman Guruswamy Jan 2019

Sustainable Development: Energy, Justice, And Women, Lakshman Guruswamy

Articles

This article will first offer a functional synopsis relevant to its remit, of the concept of sustainable development (SD) embodied in international law and policy that reflects a tension between economic and social claims as contrasted with environmental protection. While the dominant place acquired by the economic and social dimensions of SD will be recognized, it will argue consistent with the predicate of justice discussed in the article, that the protection of the human environment encompasses the plight of the energy poor and their women and children. Second, the article will delineate the contours of one of the great developmental ...


Multilateral Economic Institutions And U.S. Foreign Policy: Hearing Before The Subcomm. On Multilateral Int'l Dev., Multilateral Insts., & Int'l Econ., Energy, & Envtl. Pol'y Of The S. Comm. On Foreign Relations, 115th Cong., Nov. 27, 2018 (Statement Of Jennifer A. Hillman), Jennifer A. Hillman Nov 2018

Multilateral Economic Institutions And U.S. Foreign Policy: Hearing Before The Subcomm. On Multilateral Int'l Dev., Multilateral Insts., & Int'l Econ., Energy, & Envtl. Pol'y Of The S. Comm. On Foreign Relations, 115th Cong., Nov. 27, 2018 (Statement Of Jennifer A. Hillman), Jennifer A. Hillman

Testimony Before Congress

Virtually every major international gathering of world leaders recently has ended in failure—or at least failure to reach enough agreement to issue a concluding statement or communique. These failures come at a time when many have been looking for signs that world leaders would come together to address the most pressing problems facing the world—including climate change, the breakdown in the rules of the international trading system, the need everywhere for good jobs that pay a living wage, and rapidly growing income inequality.

The failure of these meetings to produce formal agreements—or even specific paths to reaching ...


Environmental Protection Requires More Than Social Resilience, Michael P. Vandenbergh Oct 2018

Environmental Protection Requires More Than Social Resilience, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Achieving the green economy requires taking into account divisive politics and distributive justice.


Keynote: Motivating Private Climate Governance: The Role Of The Efficiency Gap, Michael P. Vandenbergh Jan 2018

Keynote: Motivating Private Climate Governance: The Role Of The Efficiency Gap, Michael P. Vandenbergh

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

In response to the shrinking federal role in environmental protection, many policy advocates have focused on the role of states and cities, but this symposium focuses on another important source of sustainability initiatives: the private sector, including corporations, households, civic and cultural organizations, religious organizations, private hospitals, colleges and universities, and other organizations. States, cities, and local governments are increasingly important, but the limited geographic reach of subnational governments and widespread concerns about the size and intrusiveness of the public sector constrain their ability to address many environmental problems. Private governance initiatives offer an opportunity to bypass concerns about big ...


Environmens Rea, Anthony Moffa Jan 2018

Environmens Rea, Anthony Moffa

Faculty Publications

Many policymakers remain blind to the moral implications of environmental harm caused by government action (or inaction) and have not adequately considered how criminal law deals with similar immoral behavior in other contexts. Building from Lisa Heinzerling’s thought-provoking essay Knowing Killing and Environmental Law, this article considers the possibility of criminal culpability for environmental policy decisions and the implications of that potential culpability for decision-making and communication. It builds from the premise that morality and law universally condemn the knowing killing of other human beings. It matters not that the identities of the dead are unknown. What matters from ...


Federalism, The Environment And The Charter In Canada, Dayna Scott Jan 2018

Federalism, The Environment And The Charter In Canada, Dayna Scott

Articles & Book Chapters

This Chapter reviews the key jurisprudential developments in relation to the division of powers in Canada, exploring how the shared jurisdiction over the “environment” created by sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution has historically and continues to shape environmental law and policy. In addition to this federal-provincial struggle, the chapter considers the current trend towards local regulation of environmental matters according to the principle of ‘subsidiarity’, and the growing recognition of the ‘inherent jurisdiction’ of Indigenous peoples. The contemporary dynamics are explored through two critical policy case studies highlighting barriers to environmental justice: safe drinking water on reserves, and ...


Coloring Outside The Lines: A Response To Professor Seamon’S Dismantling Monuments, Hope M. Babcock Jan 2018

Coloring Outside The Lines: A Response To Professor Seamon’S Dismantling Monuments, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Dismantling Monuments, Professor Richard H. Seamon defends President Donald Trump’s recent proclamations modifying the boundaries of two national monuments, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears, that Presidents Clinton and Obama each designated at the ends of their Administrations. Professor Seamon is not alone in making these arguments, as I am not alone in saying that Professor Seamon’s arguments, while well-intentioned, are wrong. He exaggerates the persuasive power of congressional silence. He elevates the importance of the statute’s original intent. Professor Seamon and I read the text and legislative history of the Antiquities Act differently—he sees unlimited ...


Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble Jan 2018

Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble

Scholarly Works

In 2017, district courts decided several issues that the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit had never addressed. The United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia concluded that the Clean Water Act's (CWA) prohibition on the discharge of pollutants into waters of the United States without a permit extended to discharges into groundwater with a "direct hydrological connection" to surface waters within the Act's scope. The court also concluded that a state-permitted land application system, whereby wastewater is sprayed onto fields as means of treatment and disposal, constituted a "point source" within ...


Making Existing Homes Greener, James Smith Jan 2018

Making Existing Homes Greener, James Smith

Scholarly Works

The environmental movement that has taken hold in the last half-century includes the objective of reducing the adverse impacts buildings have on the natural environment. In the United States, this has manifested itself in changes in the design and construction of buildings. Modern buildings-those built recently-perform better with respect to some, but not all, environmental criteria than older buildings. The most prominent characteristic is the efficiency of energy use for heating, cooling, and appliances.

Even when the combination of building codes and voluntary standards work effectively to promote the construction of new green homes, they cannot provide a solution with ...


Empirical Environmental Scholarship, Robert L. Fischman, Lydia Barbash-Riley Jan 2018

Empirical Environmental Scholarship, Robert L. Fischman, Lydia Barbash-Riley

Articles by Maurer Faculty

The most important development in legal scholarship over the past quarter century has been the rise of empirical research. Drawing upon the traditions of legal realism and the law and economics movement, a variety of social science techniques have delivered fresh perspectives and punctured false claims. But environmental law has been slow to adopt empirical tools, and our findings indicate that it lags behind other fields. There are several clear benefits from an empirical agenda to explore how to make environmental law more effective. But no previous article has applied the lessons from empirical scholarship in other fields to environmental ...