Environmental Law

Government Subsidies Approach: Government pays polluters to reduce their emissions

 

Marketable Discharge Permits: Government issues set number of permits for pollutant discharges; companies are free to sell these permits among themselves

 

“Green” Taxes: Government imposes taxes on environmentally harmful activities

 

Direct Regulation: Government regulates pollution; primary approach used today

 

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Chapter 46Environmental LawCopyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.46-2Alternative Means of Protecting The Environment Tort LawNuisance: Unreasonable interference with another’s enjoyment and use of his/her real property (land)Negligence: Duty, breach of duty, causation, and damageTrespass: Occurs when someone enters another’s property without permission46-3Alternative Means of Protecting The Environment (Continued)Government Subsidies Approach: Government pays polluters to reduce their emissionsMarketable Discharge Permits: Government issues set number of permits for pollutant discharges; companies are free to sell these permits among themselves“Green” Taxes: Government imposes taxes on environmentally harmful activities Direct Regulation: Government regulates pollution; primary approach used today46-4The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)Created in 1970Largest federal agencyMandate to address following types of pollution: Air, water, solid waste, pesticides, radiation, and toxic substancesNational Environmental Policy ActRequires preparation of an “Environmental Impact Statement” (EIS)46-546-6Content of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)Environmental impact of proposed actionAdverse environmental effects of actionAlternatives to proposed actionRelationship between local short-term uses of human environment and maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivityAny irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources in proposed activity (should it be implemented)46-7Regulating Air QualityClean Air Act and National Ambient Air Quality Standards: Principal statutory means of regulating air qualityPrimary Standards: Levels necessary to protect public healthSecondary Standards: Levels necessary to protect public welfareToxic Air Pollutants: 189 pollutants that cause serious consequences, even in small amountsMaximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT): Standard that must be met by industry pollution control equipment46-8Regulating Water QualityFederal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Air Act): Mandates “fishable and swimmable” waters; requires total elimination of pollutant discharges into navigable watersPoint-Source Effluent Limitations: Maximum allowable amounts of pollutants that can be discharged from a source within a given time periodWetlands Protection: Requires landowner seeking to add dredged or filled material to wetland to get permit from Army Corps of Engineers.Safe Drinking Water Act: Sets standards for drinking water supplied by public water supplier; “Right to know” provisions mean utilities must provide annual reports detailing water contaminants and harm they may cause46-9Regulating Hazardous Waste Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)Manifest Program: Provides “cradle-to-grave” regulation of hazardous waste by requiring that every generator of hazardous waste maintain records on the wasteRCRA Amendments of 1984 and 1986: Made landfills a “last resort” for disposal of many types of wasteEnforcement of RCRA: EPA; states can establish their own programs, but EPA retains ultimate authority to investigate and fine violators46-10Regulating Hazardous Waste (Continued) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as Amended by the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act of 1986Money in Superfund used for toxic waste cleanupEPA may sue to recover costsTo date, Superfund has not been able to recoup its cleanup costs46-11Potentially Responsible Parties (“PRPs”) under CERCLAPresent owners/operators of facility where hazardous materials storedFacility owners/operators at time waste depositedGenerators of hazardous waste dumped at siteThose who transported hazardous waste to site46-12Regulating Toxic SubstancesToxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)“Toxic Substance”—Any chemical/mixture whose manufacture, processing, distribution, use/disposal may present an unreasonable risk of harm to human health or the environmentPre-Manufacturing Notice: Notification given to the EPA at least 90 days before first use of a chemical; contains information on risk posed by chemical46-13Regulating Toxic Substances (Continued)Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide ActRegistration of pesticides required for use and sellingRestricted Use: Pesticide must be used in a specific manner in order not to pose unreasonable riskFood Quality Protection Act of 1996EPA required to establish single, health-based standard for pesticide residues on foods sold in United States

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