Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Environmental Law

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Legal Writing and Research

Articles 1 - 15 of 15

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Endangered Species Act Lessons Over 30 Years, And The Legacy Of The Snail Darter, A Small Fish In A Pork Barrel, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 2004

Endangered Species Act Lessons Over 30 Years, And The Legacy Of The Snail Darter, A Small Fish In A Pork Barrel, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Why is it – amidst the flood of environmental statutes that poured into the law books and national consciousness in the remarkable decade of the 1970s – that the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) stands out as quite uniquely different? This Essay briefly surveys the ESA’s differentness, its special political context, the citizen suit of great notoriety that fired up the ESA’s political hotseat back in 1975, and what has changed and what has not in the years since that first eco-legal outburst.


Law And The Fourth Estate: Endangered Nature, The Press, And The Dicey Game Of Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 2002

Law And The Fourth Estate: Endangered Nature, The Press, And The Dicey Game Of Democratic Governance, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Building upon the story line of a current book project on the Tellico Dam case, this Essay explores a challenging reality of modern public interest lawyering – the critical role of public perceptions and of the Press’s role in shaping them. Most public interest attorneys come to realize that their lawyering must move simultaneously on two different tracks that determine outcomes – law and public opinion. This double task can be difficult and sometimes impossible. Both tracks require the organization and presentation of facts, but the two contexts can be quite different. A legal case requires proof of each technical element ...


Environmental Law In The Political Ecosystem - Coping With The Reality Of Politics, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 2002

Environmental Law In The Political Ecosystem - Coping With The Reality Of Politics, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Essay, the proposition the author draws from the narrative of the endangered species litigation is derivatively Aristotelian – that we must consciously, actively, and explicitly integrate an informed consideration of human politics into what we teach and do in environmental law. The proposition is not that we should steep ourselves in party politics, although there are interesting observations aplenty that could be made on the direct consequences that the two major parties (and occassionally their wistful smaller incarnations) have on the evolution of environmental law. The proposition offered here operates at two different levels: practical politics and political overview ...


The Three Economies: An Essay In Honor Of Joseph Sax, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jun 1998

The Three Economies: An Essay In Honor Of Joseph Sax, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

How does one evaluate the important public values and impacts of things that do not have a market price and then integrate them into the fabric of our system of social governance? That question lies within most or all of Joseph Sax's work over the years. The first part of this article represents an attempt to distill some of Joseph Sax's intellectual dimensions, beyond those already chronicled in the comments of other contributors to this symposium, with some linked themes and observations drawn from Sax beyond his writings. The second part, instigated by several of Sax's articles ...


At War With The Environment, David A. Wirth Mar 1998

At War With The Environment, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this Article, Professor Wirth reviews the book National Defense and the Environment by Stephen Dycus, a recognized expert in both environmental and national security law. The emphasis of the book is on containing and remediating the environmental excesses of the American defense-industrial complex, with a domestic policy focus. While Professor Wirth considers Dycus’ work an intellectually rewarding and refreshing new entry into the ongoing environment-as-security colloquy, he does not consider the book to be accessible to a general audience given the book’s fundamentally legalistic nature.


The Embattled Social Utilities Of The Endangered Species Act - A Noah Presumption And Caution Against Putting Gasmasks On The Canaries In The Coalmine, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1997

The Embattled Social Utilities Of The Endangered Species Act - A Noah Presumption And Caution Against Putting Gasmasks On The Canaries In The Coalmine, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is once again poised at the brink of what could become an illuminating national debate. The Act’s congressional reauthorization process is likely to provide the first major indicator of what the 105th Congress will or won’t do to environmental law generally. From the turbulent past and present of the ESA, this essay offers some reminders for the impending battles over the Act.


Environmental Law As A Mirror Of The Future: Civic Values Confronting Market Force Dynamics In A Time Of Counter-Revolution, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1996

Environmental Law As A Mirror Of The Future: Civic Values Confronting Market Force Dynamics In A Time Of Counter-Revolution, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This essay explores the legislative assaults currently faced by environmental law, as the powerful market forces that gained at least temporary congressional ascendancy in Novemeber 1994 attempt to roll back legal doctrines and structures evolved in thirty years of bipartisan development. The "counter revolutionary" tumult of the 104th Congress reflects a basic confrontation - between the powerful human nature dynamics of market forces and society's need for enforceable civic values that transcend short-term profit expediencies. Environmental law, reflecting a paradigm shift in how we perceive the world, has emerged over the past three decades as one of the primary realms ...


Facing A Time Of Counter-Revolution: The Kepone Incident And A Review Of First Principles, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1995

Facing A Time Of Counter-Revolution: The Kepone Incident And A Review Of First Principles, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The Kepone contamination episode of 1966-75 was a milestone that focused an entire nation’s attention on environmental hazards and our need to do better in recognizing and avoiding them. We have learned a great deal from that unfortunate story. The evolution of American environmental law since the Kepone debacle has repeatedly used the incident as a touchstone in identifying environmental pollution’s causes, effects, and potential solutions. This essay offers four propositions, about two things that have changed, and two things that have not, in the years since Kepone, taking account of where we are, and seeking some points ...


From The Beginning, A Fundamental Shift Of Paradigms: A Theory And Short History Of Environmental Law, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1994

From The Beginning, A Fundamental Shift Of Paradigms: A Theory And Short History Of Environmental Law, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Looking back on the past twenty-five years, during which environmental law has developed such astonishing breadth, depth, and volume, the author suggests that it is possible to sketch a compound proposition about how environmental law evolved, the primacy of citizen litigation in its development, and what it all may signify. By exploring two paradigm shifts within the field, the author offers suggestions for why environmental law has been so energetic, broad-ranging, and often confrontational, and where environmental law may be going.


Legitimacy, Accountability, And Partnership: A Model For Advocacy On Third World Environmental Issues, David A. Wirth Jul 1991

Legitimacy, Accountability, And Partnership: A Model For Advocacy On Third World Environmental Issues, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

To date, there has been little effort to define the characteristics of responsible environmental reform efforts by private citizens and organizations in the United States on foreign environmental problems, such as the quality of foreign aid. Moreover, there have been virtually no attempts to identify a principled role for American lawyers in Third World environmental issues. This Essay will respond to these lacunae by articulating a new approach to advocacy based on a partnership model. In Part I, this Essay identifies the need for American public interest advocates to establish partnerships with directly affected groups on Third World environmental issues ...


Keynote Essay: A Modern Political Tribalism In Natural Resources Management, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1990

Keynote Essay: A Modern Political Tribalism In Natural Resources Management, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

The first law of ecology holds that everything is connected to everything else. This conference addresses the challenges and dilemmas of resource management policy on America’s public lands, but it seems useful both for the purposes of the conference and in broader terms to note how resource management is connected to larger questions of global integrity and human governance. This essay explores a troubling fact of modern political life: As the problems of managing the economy and ecology of this nation become ever more complex, subtly-interrelated, pressured and demanding, our processes of legal and political governance might be expected ...


Multilateral Development Banks, Environmental Diseconomies, And International Reform Pressures On The Lending Process: The Example Of Third World Dam-Building Projects, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1989

Multilateral Development Banks, Environmental Diseconomies, And International Reform Pressures On The Lending Process: The Example Of Third World Dam-Building Projects, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

An "environmental" perspective on multilateral development bank (MDB) loans presents at least three points of analysis relevant to Third World development issues. First it gives some very vivid and instructive examples of how the international development loan process can go askew. Second, it demonstrates practically why and how the lending process itself has required constructive reform. Third, in reviewing legal approaches to reform, including recent pressures on MDBs, it helps clarify a latent debate about the legitimacy of donor-nation pressure on international lending institutions. This article focuses upon World Bank projects and processes, not only because they provide many useful ...


Reflected In A River: Agency Accountability And The Tva Tellico Dam Case, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1982

Reflected In A River: Agency Accountability And The Tva Tellico Dam Case, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Legal history is usually written from one of two time perspectives: as a narrative of events and changing conditions over a span of years or as an extended exploration of one fertile moment in time. In examining the intriguing entity known as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), this article draws upon that chronological history to some extent. To a greater extent, however, it focuses upon revealing moments in the last six years of the long-running battles over completion of the TVA’s Tellico dam, which finally flooded the last remaining stretch of the Little Tennessee River Valley in the spring ...


Coal Law From The Old World: A Perspective On Land Use And Environmental Regulation In The Coal Industries Of The United States, Great Britain, And West Germany, Zygmunt J.B. Plater Jan 1976

Coal Law From The Old World: A Perspective On Land Use And Environmental Regulation In The Coal Industries Of The United States, Great Britain, And West Germany, Zygmunt J.B. Plater

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

America’s reentry into the Coal Age has been one of the major consequences of the Mideast oil-producing nations’ discovery of their collective marketing power, and in this new emphasis on coal the United States is not alone. Like the United States, many industrialized nations with domestic coal reserves had allowed their coal industries to languish under the influence of low-priced, petroleum based energy economy and are now hastening to strengthen their coal production. Different nations approach the regulation of their resurgent coal industries in varying ways, however, and these differences can be instructive to American observers, particularly as they ...