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Series

2006

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Precautionary principle

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Did Nepa Drown New Orleans? The Levees, The Blame Game, And The Hazards Of Hindsight, Thomas O. Mcgarity, Douglas A. Kysar Sep 2006

Did Nepa Drown New Orleans? The Levees, The Blame Game, And The Hazards Of Hindsight, Thomas O. Mcgarity, Douglas A. Kysar

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This Article highlights the hazards of hindsight analysis of the causes of catastrophic events, focusing on theories of why the New Orleans levees failed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and particularly on the theory that the levee failures were "caused" by a 1977 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) lawsuit that resulted in a temporary injunction against the Army Corps of Engineers' hurricane protection project for New Orleans. The Article provides a detailed historical reconstruction of the decision process that eventuated in the New Orleans storm surge protection system, focusing both on the political and legal factors involved and on the ...


It Might Have Been: Risk, Precaution, And Opportunity Costs, Douglas A. Kysar Aug 2006

It Might Have Been: Risk, Precaution, And Opportunity Costs, Douglas A. Kysar

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This Article, which is part of a larger project on the competing merits of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and the precautionary principle (PP) as competing policymaking paradigms for environmental, health, and safety regulation, examines one specific plank of the case against the PP: the claim that the principle's ignorance of the opportunity costs of precaution leads to indeterminate or impoverishing policy advice. Because PP defenders emphasize the limits of human knowledge and the frequency of unpleasant surprises from technology and industrial development, they prefer an ex ante stance of precaution whenever a proposed activity meets some threshold possibility of causing ...