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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 ...


Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Sep 2006

Law, Media, & Environmental Policy: A Fundamental Linkage In Sustainable Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The functional linkages between law and media have long been signficant in shaping American democratic governance. Over the past thirty-five years, environmental analysis has similarly become essential to shaping international and domestic governmental policy. Environmentalism—focusing as it does on realistic interconnected accounting of the full potential negative consequences as well as benefits of proposed actions, policies, and programs, over the long term as well as the short term, with careful consideration of all realistic alternatives— provides a legal perspective important for societal sustainability. Because environmental values and norms are often in tension with established industrial interests that resist public ...


Discounting, On Stilts, Douglas A. Kysar Aug 2006

Discounting, On Stilts, Douglas A. Kysar

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

This paper provides a critical overview of several articles presented at the Intergenerational Discounting and Intergenerational Equity Conference held at the University of Chicago Law School on April 27-28, 2006. First, it demonstrates that conventional normative justifications offered for the use of discounting future costs and benefits for policy analysis in the intergenerational context do not withstand scrutiny. Second, it observes that the compensatory transfers that are sometimes thought to sanitize the cost-benefit procedure in the intergenerational context are deeply problematic, both in their theoretical construction and in their practical adequacy for the tasks they are being deployed to accomplish ...


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 ...


Ceqa Analysis Of Development Displaced By Rejected Projects, George Lefcoe Jul 2006

Ceqa Analysis Of Development Displaced By Rejected Projects, George Lefcoe

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In order to prevent the avoidable environmental degradation that often accompanies new development, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires state and local decision makers to consider the potential environmental impacts of their discretionary approvals, even when they are voting entitlements for purely private development projects. California cities are burdened with notoriously underfunded transportation infrastructure and poor air quality, so CEQA findings can be marshaled to justify rejection of almost any proposed project. Because of California’s staggeringly high growth rates, projects rejected at one location are likely to find their way to another site within the same market area ...


Looking Beyond Environmental Law's Mid-Life Crisis, Linda A. Malone Jul 2006

Looking Beyond Environmental Law's Mid-Life Crisis, Linda A. Malone

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Transatlantic Gmo Dispute Against The European Communities: Some Preliminary Thoughts, David A. Wirth Jul 2006

The Transatlantic Gmo Dispute Against The European Communities: Some Preliminary Thoughts, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Any day now, a World Trade Organization panel is expected to rule in a dispute between the U.S. and the EU concerning market access for genetically-engineered foods and crops. This piece, written before the release of the WTO panel's report, analyzes novel systemic issues concerning the impact of WTO law on regulatory design, at both the national and international levels, that are raised by this dispute. These include (1) the application of WTO disciplines to regulatory schemes that require prior governmental approval to protect the environment and public health from newly-introduced products and substances; (2) the role of ...


Dealing With Dumb And Dumber: The Continuing Mission Of Citizen Environmentalism, Zygmunt J.B. Plater May 2006

Dealing With Dumb And Dumber: The Continuing Mission Of Citizen Environmentalism, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Surveying the history of citizen environmentalism in the context of environmental law and politics over the past fifty years, this essay hypothesizes five different categories of corporate, governmental, political, and individual actions that deserve to be called “dumb,” and the societal lessons that have been or could be learned from each. If there is truth to the wistful aphorism that “we learn from our mistakes,” then our society is in position to learn a great deal about our world and how it works, which perhaps provides some ground for hope for the years to come. Environmentalism embodies fundamentally rational and ...


Five Views Of The Great Lakes And Why They Might Matter, A. Dan Tarlock Mar 2006

Five Views Of The Great Lakes And Why They Might Matter, A. Dan Tarlock

All Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Western Growth And Sustainable Water Use: If There Are No "Natural Limits" Should We Worry About Water Supplies? (With S. Van De Wetering), A. Dan Tarlock Mar 2006

Western Growth And Sustainable Water Use: If There Are No "Natural Limits" Should We Worry About Water Supplies? (With S. Van De Wetering), A. Dan Tarlock

All Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Disappearing Acts – Toward A Global Civil Liability Regime For Pollution Damage Resulting From Offshore Oil And Gas Exploration, Kissi Agyebeng Feb 2006

Disappearing Acts – Toward A Global Civil Liability Regime For Pollution Damage Resulting From Offshore Oil And Gas Exploration, Kissi Agyebeng

Cornell Law School J.D. Student Research Papers

Civil liability for pollution damage is recognized and firmly established under international law. However, there is no global international treaty that addresses this issue with respect to offshore oil and gas exploration. This may be due partly to the infrequency of the occurrence of offshore oil well blowouts. However, offshore operations represent a constant threat to the marine environment since the risk of a blowout leading to an ecological disaster is ever present. The trend has been the adoption of regional agreements to tackle the issue. However, most of the regional arrangements deal with the issue in a sidelong manner ...


Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble Jan 2006

Environmental Law, Eleventh Circuit Survey, Travis M. Trimble

Scholarly Works

In 2005 the Eleventh Circuit courts addressed issues of regulatory interpretation of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”); compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) in connection with the development of wetlands; and a conflict between the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (“FEMA”) coastal flood insurance program and the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). First, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated a rule of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management that exempted certain stack emissions that otherwise violated the State Implementation Plan under the CAA. Also, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama heard one of ...


Katrina's Lament: Reconstructing Federalism, John R. Nolon Jan 2006

Katrina's Lament: Reconstructing Federalism, John R. Nolon

Pace Law Faculty Publications

The subject of stormwater management raises threshold questions about the federal system. Is the regulation of stormwater runoff and the environmental pollution it causes within the federal government's legal jurisdiction? Is it a matter reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment? Or is it a joint responsibility and, if so, precisely how is federal and state authority shared? How does the delegation of power by states to local governments to regulate the use of privately owned land affect the federal-state division of power? What limits should there be on local control of land uses that cause “nonpoint source ...


The Intercivilizational Inequities Of Nuclear Power Weighed Against The Intergenerational Inequities Of Carbon Based Energy, Karl S. Coplan Jan 2006

The Intercivilizational Inequities Of Nuclear Power Weighed Against The Intergenerational Inequities Of Carbon Based Energy, Karl S. Coplan

Pace Law Faculty Publications

This essay explains that such encouragement of nuclear energy production as a “solution” to fossil fuel-induced climate change will create environmental problems equally as grave as those posed by a carbon-based energy economy. Both nuclear energy and fossil energy impose enormous environmental externalities that are not captured by the economics of energy production and distribution. While emissions trading schemes seek to harness market-based efficiencies to accomplish pre-determined reductions, they neither seek to nor succeed in capturing the environmental externalities of energy generation. By creating a set of incentives without capturing all of the externalities, these trading schemes will simply distort ...