Environmental Law Outline
What’s the problem?
· What’s the legal response?
· What’s the regulation?
· What has the reviewing court said about the regulation?
· Introduction to regulatory strategies.
o Regulations: such as taxes, statutory limits on emissions, etc.
§ Emissions limits: could adversly impact industry.
· Ex. Limits on coal industry could reduce available power and lead to outages
· How do you decide where to set limit?
o Could use teach based std. What is possible? But may not reduce enough
o Look at total concentration- Ambient std. How much do you want in the air?
o Cap and Trade System- allow companies to trade emission rights
o Tax- make everyone pay a tax to produce emissions- creates incentive to use less and cleaner methods- BUT new taxes unlikely to get passed.
o Liability Standards: would be difficult to work – would be hard claim to prove structure of lawsuit would be unweidly
o The Reg/Polict stratedgy needs to fit the problem. Usually trying to find mix of tools that will lead to change you want.
· Economic perspectives
o We have pollution because we’re consumers and its profitable. Bad b/c they’re harming another w/o paying, they’re using a resource w/o paying for it.
o “Tragedy of the Commons” by Hardin
§ If I use more of a common resource I get all the gains but only part of the cost.
§ We all have incentive to use the commons but may exhaust the commons = tragedy
§ analogizes the commons to pollution
§ herdsman = pollution
§ air and water heavily polluted b/c no one owns them
§ problem very related to population
§ legislation is difficult and may not solve the problem
o “Problem of Social Cost” by R. Coase
§ can hurt both sides- have to try to avoid the more serious harm
§ when the assumptions are satisfied it doesn’t matter which party has the legal right
§ Has many assumptions…
· no transactions costs
· Doesn’t take into account public values
o ie in factory and laundry example public wouldn’t want 3 emission units, would want less
§ Encourages placing a monetary value on everything- hard to do this for environment and nature
2. Philosophical and ethical perspective
· Non-Economic Perspectives
o Human Centered Approach: based on the interests of ppl
§ Pollution is bad b/c it harms ppl, we also value having clean resources and environment. Get pollution b/c ppl have bad values and will have to change behavior
§ Sagoff Excerpt pg 22
s seen as so important that its favored even though it may harm basic interests of non-humans
o distributive justice – conflict of human and non-human interests- each party must get equal share of good- involves basic interest of both
o restitutive justice- making up wrongs caused by last 2 principles
3. Risk assessment: process of analyzing info to determine if an envir hazard might cause harm to exposed ppl and ecosystems. How much risk is present?
· 3 Principles:
o Feasibility and desirability of insulating risk assessment from politics
o Uncertainities inherent in risk assessment
o Implications of the divergence b/t expert and lay perceptions of risk.
· William Ruckelshaus Article pg 53
o a sharp distinction should be drawn b/t risk assessment and risk managment
o want to keep RA as scientific as possible. Should keep politics out of risk assessment- political considerations are more appropiate at the risk mgmt stage
o With RA will usually be asking a scientific type question
RM should include policy considerations