Environmental law, also known as environmental and natural resources law, is a collective address environmental pollution. A related but distinct set of regulatory regimes, now strongly influenced by environmental legal principles, focus on the management of specific natural resources, such as forests, minerals, or fisheries. Other areas, such as environmental impact assessment, may not fit neatly into either category, but are nonetheless important components of environmental law.
Early examples of legal enactments designed to consciously preserve the environment, for its own sake or human enjoyment, are found throughout history. In the common law, the primary protection was found in the law of nuisance, but this only allowed for private actions for damages or injunctions if there was harm to land. Thus smells emanating from pig sties, strict liability against dumping rubbish, or damage from exploding dams. Private enforcement, however, was limited and found to be woefully inadequate to deal with major environmental threats, particularly threats to common resources. During the "Great Stink" of 1858, the dumping of sewerage into the River Thames began to smell so ghastly in the summer heat that Parliament had to be evacuated. Ironically, the Metropolitan Commission of Sewers Act 1848 had allowed the Metropolitan Commission for Sewers to close cesspits around the city in an attempt to "clean up" but this simply led people to pollute the river. In 19 days, Parliament passed a further Act to build the London sewerage system. London also suffered from terrible air pollution, and this culminated in the "Great Smog" of 1952, which in turn triggered its own legislative response: the Clean Air Act 1956. The basic regulatory structure was to set limits on emissions for households and business (particularly burning coal) while an inspectorate would enforce compliance.
Notwithstanding early analogues, the concept of "environmental law" as a separate and distinct body of law is a twentieth-century development. The recognition that the natural environment was fragile and in need of special legal protections, the translation of that recognition into legal structures, the development of those structures into a larger body of "environmental law," and the strong influence of environmental law on natural resource laws, did not occur until about the 1960s. At that time, numerous influences - including a growing awareness of the unity and fragility of the biosphere; increased public concern over the impact of industrial activity on natural resources and human health; the increasing strength of the regulatory state; and more broadly the advent and success of environmentalism as a political movement - coalesced to produce a huge new body of law in a relatively short period of time. While the modern history of environmental law is one of continuing controversy, by the end of the twentieth century environmental law had been established as a component of the legal landscape in all developed nations of the world, many developing ones, and the larger project of international law.
these are studied in environmental studies
Water quality laws govern the release of pollutants into water resources, including surface water, ground water, and stored drinking water. Some water quality laws, such as drinking water regulations, may be designed solely with reference to human health. Many others, including restrictions on the alteration of the chemical, physical, radiological, and biological characteristics of water resources, may also reflect efforts to protect aquatic ecosystems more broadly. Regulatory efforts may include identifying and categorizing water pollutants, dictating acceptable pollutant concentrations in water resources, and limiting pollutant discharges from effluent sources. Regulatory areas include sewage treatment and disposal, industrial and agricultural waste water management, and control of surface runoff from construction sites and urban environments.
Waste management laws govern the transport, treatment, storage, and disposal of all manner of waste, including municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, and nuclear waste, among many other types. Waste laws are generally designed to minimize or eliminate the uncontrolled dispersal of waste materials into the environment in a manner that may cause ecological or biological harm, and include laws designed to reduce the generation of waste and promote or mandate waste recycling. Regulatory efforts include identifying and categorizing waste types and mandating transport, treatment, storage, and disposal practices.
Environmental cleanup laws govern the removal of pollution or contaminants from environmental media such as soil, sediment, surface water, or ground water. Unlike pollution control laws, cleanup laws are designed to respond after-the-fact to environmental contamination, and consequently must often define not only the necessary response actions, but also the parties who may be responsible for undertaking (or paying for) such actions. Regulatory requirements may include rules for emergency response, liability allocation, site assessment, remedial investigation, feasibility studies, remedial action, post-remedial monitoring, and site reuse.
Chemical safety laws govern the use of chemicals in human activities, particularly man-made chemicals in modern industrial applications. As contrasted with media-oriented environmental laws (e.g., air or water quality laws), chemical control laws seek to manage the (potential) pollutants themselves. Regulatory efforts include banning specific chemical constituents in consumer products (e.g., Bisphenol A in plastic bottles), and regulating pesticides.
Environmental impact assessment (EA) is the assessment of the environmental consequences (positive and negative) of a plan, policy, program, or actual projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action. In this context, the term "environmental impact assessment" (EIA) is usually used when applied to actual projects by individuals or companies and the term "strategic environmental assessment" (SEA) applies to policies, plans and programmes most often proposed by organs of state. Environmental assessments may be governed by rules of administrative procedure regarding public participation and documentation of decision making, and may be subject to judicial review.
Water resources laws govern the ownership and use of water resources, including surface water and ground water. Regulatory areas may include water conservation, use restrictions, and ownership regimes.
Mineral resource laws cover several basic topics, including the ownership of the mineral resource and who can work them. Mining is also affected by various regulations regarding the health and safety of miners, as well as the environmental impact of mining.
Forestry laws govern activities in designated forest lands, most commonly with respect to forest management and timber harvesting. Ancillary laws may regulate forest land acquisition and prescribed burn practices. Forest management laws generally adopt management policies, such as multiple use and sustained yield, by which public forest resources are to be managed. Governmental agencies are generally responsible for planning and implementing forestry laws on public forest lands, and may be involved in forest inventory, planning, and conservation, and oversight of timber sales. Broader initiatives may seek to slow or reverse deforestation.
Wildlife laws govern the potential impact of human activity on wild animals, whether directly on individuals or populations, or indirectly via habitat degradation. Similar laws may operate to protect plant species. Such laws may be enacted entirely to protect biodiversity, or as a means for protecting species deemed important for other reasons. Regulatory efforts may including the creation of special conservation statuses, prohibitions on killing, harming, or disturbing protected species, efforts to induce and support species recovery, establishment of wildlife refuges to support conservation, and prohibitions on trafficking in species or animal parts to combat poaching.
Fish and game laws regulate the right to pursue and take or kill certain kinds of fish and wild animal (game). Such laws may restrict the days to harvest fish or game, the number of animals caught per person, the species harvested, or the weapons or fishing gear used. Such laws may seek to balance dueling needs for preservation and harvest and to manage both environment and populations of fish and game. Game laws can provide a legal structure to collect license fees and other money which is used to fund conservation efforts as well as to obtain harvest information used in wildlife management practice.
Environmental law has developed in response to emerging awareness of and concern over issues impacting the entire world. While laws have developed piecemeal and for a variety of reasons, some effort has gone into identifying key concepts and guiding principles common to environmental law as a whole. The principles discussed below are not an exhaustive list and are not universally recognized or accepted. Nonetheless, they represent important principles for the understanding of environmental law around the world.
Defined by the United Nations Environment Programme as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs," sustainable development may be considered together with the concepts of "integration" (development cannot be considered in isolation from sustainability) and "interdependence" (social and economic development, and environmental protection, are interdependent). Laws mandating environmental impact assessment and requiring or encouraging development to minimize environmental impacts may be assessed against this principle.
The modern concept of sustainable development was a topic of discussion at the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Conference), and the driving force behind the 1983 World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED, or Bruntland Commission). In 1992, the first UN Earth Summit resulted in the Rio Declaration, Principle 3 of which reads: "The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations." Sustainable development has been a core concept of international environmental discussion ever since, including at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit 2002), and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit 2012, or Rio+20).
Defined by UNEP to include intergenerational equity - "the right of future generations to enjoy a fair level of the common patrimony" - and intragenerational equity - "the right of all people within the current generation to fair access to the current generation's entitlement to the Earth's natural resources" - environmental equity considers the present generation under an obligation to account for long-term impacts of activities, and to act to sustain the global environment and resource base for future generations. Pollution control and resource management laws may be assessed against this principle.
Defined in the international law context as an obligation to protect one's own environment, and to prevent damage to neighboring environments, UNEP considers transboundary responsibility at the international level as a potential limitation on the rights of the sovereign state. Laws that act to limit externalities imposed upon human health and the environment may be assessed against this principle.
Identified as essential conditions for "accountable governments,... industrial concerns," and organizations generally, public participation and transparency are presented by UNEP as requiring "effective protection of the human right to hold and express opinions and to seek, receive and impart ideas,... a right of access to appropriate, comprehensible and timely information held by governments and industrial concerns on economic and social policies regarding the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment, without imposing undue financial burdens upon the applicants and with adequate protection of privacy and business confidentiality," and "effective judicial and administrative proceedings." These principles are present in environmental impact assessment, laws requiring publication and access to relevant environmental data, and administrative procedure.
One of the most commonly encountered and controversial principles of environmental law, the Rio Declaration formulated the precautionary principle as follows:
The principle may play a role in any debate over the need for environmental regulation.
The polluter pays principle stands for the idea that "the environmental costs of economic activities, including the cost of preventing potential harm, should be internalized rather than imposed upon society at large." All issues related to responsibility for cost for environmental remediation and compliance with pollution control regulations involve this principle.
Environmental law is a continuing source of controversy. Debates over the necessity, fairness, and cost of environmental regulation are ongoing, as well as regarding the appropriateness of regulations vs. market solutions to achieve even agreed-upon ends.
Allegations of scientific uncertainty fuel the ongoing debate over greenhouse gas regulation, and are a major factor in debates over whether to ban particular pesticides. In cases where the science is well-settled, it is not unusual to find that corporations intentionally hide or distort the facts, or sow confusion.
It is very common for regulated industry to argue against environmental regulation on the basis of cost. Difficulties arise in performing cost-benefit analysis of environmental issues. It is difficult to quantify the value of an environmental value such as a healthy ecosystem, clean air, or species diversity. Many environmentalists' response to pitting economy vs. ecology is summed up by former Senator and founder of Earth Day Gaylord Nelson, "The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around." Furthermore, environmental issues are seen by many as having an ethical or moral dimension, which would transcend financial cost. Even so, there are some efforts underway to systemically recognize environmental costs and assets, and account for them properly in economic terms.
While affected industries spark controversy in fighting regulation, there are also many environmentalists and public interest groups who believe that current regulations are inadequate, and advocate for stronger protection. Environmental law conferences - such as the annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, Oregon - typically have this focus, also connecting environmental law with class, race, and other issues.
An additional debate is to what extent environmental laws are fair to all regulated parties. For instance, researchers Preston Teeter and Jorgen Sandberg highlight how smaller organizations can often incur disproportionately larger costs as a result of environmental regulations, which can ultimately create an additional barrier to entry for new firms, thus stifling competition and innovation.
Global and regional environmental issues are increasingly the subject of international law. Debates over environmental concerns implicate core principles of international law and have been the subject of numerous international agreements and declarations.
Customary international law is an important source of international environmental law. These are the norms and rules that countries follow as a matter of custom and they are so prevalent that they bind all states in the world. When a principle becomes customary law is not clear cut and many arguments are put forward by states not wishing to be bound. Examples of customary international law relevant to the environment include the duty to warn other states promptly about icons of an environmental nature and environmental damages to which another state or states may be exposed, and Principle 21 of the Stockholm Declaration ('good neighbourliness' or sic utere).
Numerous legally binding international agreements encompass a wide variety of issue-areas, from terrestrial, marine and atmospheric pollution through to wildlife and biodiversity protection. International environmental agreements are generally multilateral (or sometimes bilateral) treaties (a.k.a. convention, agreement, protocol, etc.). Protocols are subsidiary agreements built from a primary treaty. They exist in many areas of international law but are especially useful in the environmental field, where they may be used to regularly incorporate recent scientific knowledge. They also permit countries to reach agreement on a framework that would be contentious if every detail were to be agreed upon in advance. The most widely known protocol in international environmental law is the Kyoto Protocol, which followed from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
While the bodies that proposed, argued, agreed upon and ultimately adopted existing international agreements vary according to each agreement, certain conferences, including 1972's United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, 1983's World Commission on Environment and Development, 1992's United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and 2002's World Summit on Sustainable Development have been particularly important. Multilateral environmental agreements sometimes create an International Organization, Institution or Body responsible for implementing the agreement. Major examples are the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
International environmental law also includes the opinions of international courts and tribunals. While there are few and they have limited authority, the decisions carry much weight with legal commentators and are quite influential on the development of international environmental law. One of the biggest challenges in international decisions is to determine an adequate compensation for environmental damages. The courts include the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the international Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the European Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights and other regional treaty tribunals.
According to the International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE), the major environmental issues in Africa are “drought and flooding, air pollution, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, freshwater availability, degradation of soil and vegetation, and widespread poverty.”  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is focused on the “growing urban and industrial pollution, water quality, electronic waste and indoor air from cookstoves.”  They hope to provide enough aid on concerns regarding pollution before their impacts contaminate the African environment as well as the global environment. By doing so, they intend to “protect human health, particularly vulnerable populations such as children and the poor.”  In order to accomplish these goals in Africa, EPA programs are focused on strengthening the ability to enforce environmental laws as well as public compliance to them. Other programs work on developing stronger environmental laws, regulations, and standards.
The Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) is an agreement between 16 Asian countries dedicated to improving cooperation with environmental laws in Asia. These countries include Cambodia, China, Indonesia, India, Maldives, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Lao PDR.
The European Union issues secondary legislation on environmental issues that are valid throughout the EU (so called regulations) and many directives that must be implemented into national legislation from the 28 member states (national states). Examples are the Regulation (EC) No. 338/97 on the implementation of CITES; or the Natura 2000 network the centerpiece for nature & biodiversity policy, encompassing the bird Directive (79/409/EEC/ changed to 2009/147/EC)and the habitats directive (92/43/EEC). Which are made up of multiple SACs (Special Areas of Conservation, linked to the habitats directive) & SPAs (Special Protected Areas, linked to the bird directive), throughout Europe.
EU legislation is ruled in Article 249 Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Topics for common EU legislation are:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working with countries in the Middle East to improve “environmental governance, water pollution and water security, clean fuels and vehicles, public participation, and pollution prevention.”
The main concerns on environmental issues in the Oceanic Region are “illegal releases of air and water pollutants, illegal logging/timber trade, illegal shipment of hazardous wastes, including e-waste and ships slated for destruction, and insufficient institutional structure/lack of enforcement capacity”. The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) is an international organization between Australia, the Cook Islands, FMS, Fiji, France, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Island, Tonga, Tuvalu, USA, and Vanuatu. The SPREP was established in order to provide assistance in improving and protecting the environment as well as assure sustainable development for future generations.
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is the center piece of environmental legislation in the Australian Government. It sets up the “legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places”. It also focuses on protecting world heritage properties, national heritage properties, wetlands of international importance, nationally threatened species and ecological communities, migratory species, Commonwealth marine areas, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and the environment surrounding nuclear activities. Commonwealth v Tasmania (1983), also known as the "Tasmanian Dam Case", is the most influential case for Australian environmental law.
The Brazilian government created the Ministry of Environment in 1992 in order to develop better strategies of protecting the environment, use natural resources sustainably, and enforce public environmental policies. The Ministry of Environment has authority over policies involving environment, water resources, preservation, and environmental programs involving the Amazon.
The Department of the Environment Act establishes the Department of the Environment in the Canadian government as well as the position Minister of the Environment. Their duties include “the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the natural environment, including water, air and soil quality; renewable resources, including migratory birds and other non-domestic flora and fauna; water; meteorology;" The Environmental Protection Act is the main piece of Canadian environmental legislation that was put into place March 31, 2000. The Act focuses on “respecting pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in order to contribute to sustainable development." Other principle federal statutes include the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and the Species at Risk Act. When provincial and federal legislation are in conflict federal legislation takes precedence, that being said individual provinces can have their own legislation such as Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights, and Clean Water Act.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "China has been working with great determination in recent years to develop, implement, and enforce a solid environmental law framework. Chinese officials face critical challenges in effectively implementing the laws, clarifying the roles of their national and provincial governments, and strengthening the operation of their legal system." Explosive economic and industrial growth in China has led to significant environmental degradation, and China is currently in the process of developing more stringent legal controls. The harmonization of Chinese society and the natural environment is billed as a rising policy priority.
With the enactment of the 2008 Constitution, Ecuador became the first country in the world to codify the Rights of Nature. The Constitution, specifically Articles 10 and 71-74, recognizes the inalienable rights of ecosystems to exist and flourish, gives people the authority to petition on the behalf of ecosystems, and requires the government to remedy violations of these rights. The rights approach is a break away from traditional environmental regulatory systems, which regard nature as property and legalize and manage degradation of the environment rather than prevent it.
The Rights of Nature articles in Ecuador's constitution are part of a reaction to a combination of political, economic, and social phenomena. Ecuador's abusive past with the oil industry, most famously the class-action litigation against Chevron, and the failure of an extraction-based economy and neoliberal reforms to bring economic prosperity to the region has resulted in the election of a New Leftist regime, led by President Rafael Correa, and sparked a demand for new approaches to development. In conjunction with this need, the principle of "Buen Vivir," or good living—focused on social, environmental and spiritual wealth versus material wealth—gained popularity among citizens and was incorporated into the new constitution.
The influence of indigenous groups, from whom the concept of "Buen Vivir" originates, in the forming of the constitutional ideals also facilitated the incorporation of the Rights of Nature as a basic tenet of their culture and conceptualization of "Buen Vivir." 
The Environmental Protection Law outlines the responsibilities of the Egyptian government to “preparation of draft legislation and decrees pertinent to environmental management, collection of data both nationally and internationally on the state of the environment, preparation of periodical reports and studies on the state of the environment, formulation of the national plan and its projects, preparation of environmental profiles for new and urban areas, and setting of standards to be used in planning for their development, and preparation of an annual report on the state of the environment to be prepared to the President."
In India, Environmental law is governed by the Environment Protection Act, 1986. This act is enforced by the Central Pollution Control Board and the numerous State Pollution Control Boards. Apart from this, there are also individual legislations specifically enacted for the protection of Water, Air, Wildlife, etc. Such legislations include :-
The Basic Environmental Law is the basic structure of Japan's environmental policies replacing the Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control and the Nature Conservation Law. The updated law aims to address “global environmental problems, urban pollution by everyday life, loss of accessible natural environment in urban areas and degrading environmental protection capacity in forests and farmlands.”
The three basic environmental principles that the Basic Environmental Law follows are “the blessings of the environment should be enjoyed by the present generation and succeeded to the future generations, a sustainable society should be created where environmental loads by human activities are minimized, and Japan should contribute actively to global environmental conservation through international cooperation.” From these principles, the Japanese government have established policies such as “environmental consideration in policy formulation, establishment of the Basic Environment Plan which describes the directions of long-term environmental policy, environmental impact assessment for development projects, economic measures to encourage activities for reducing environmental load, improvement of social infrastructure such as sewerage system, transport facilities etc., promotion of environmental activities by corporations, citizens and NGOs, environmental education, and provision of information, promotion of science and technology."
The Ministry for the Environment and Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment were established by the Environment Act 1986. These positions are responsible for advising the Minister on all areas of environmental legislation. A common theme of New Zealand's environmental legislation is sustainably managing natural and physical resources, fisheries, and forests. The Resource Management Act 1991 is the main piece of environmental legislation that outlines the government's strategy to managing the “environment, including air, water soil, biodiversity, the coastal environment, noise, subdivision, and land use planning in general.”
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation makes regulation regarding “conservation of natural resources, including the subsoil, water bodies, forests located in designated conservation areas, fauna and their habitat, in the field of hunting, hydrometeorology and related areas, environmental monitoring and pollution control, including radiation monitoring and control, and functions of public environmental policy making and implementation and statutory regulation."
Vietnam is currently working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on dioxin remediation and technical assistance in order to lower methane emissions. In March 2002, the U.S and Vietnam signed the U.S.-Vietnam Memorandum of Understanding on Research on Human Health and the Environmental Effects of Agent Orange/Dioxin.
The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 is an Act of the Parliament of India for preservation of biological diversity in India, and provides mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of traditional biological resources and knowledge. The Act was enacted to meet the obligations under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to which India is a party.Environment Protection Act, 1986
Environment Protection Act,1986 19 Nov and 26 sections is an Act of the Parliament of India. In the wake of the Bhopal Tragedy, the Government of India enacted the Environment Protection Act of 1986 under Article 253 of the Constitution. Passed in March 1986, it came into force on 19 November 1986. It has 26 sections. The purpose of the Act is to implement the decisions of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. They relate to the protection and improvement of the human environment and the prevention of hazards to human beings, other living creatures, plants and property. The Act is an “umbrella” legislation designed to provide a framework for central government coordination of the activities of various central and state authorities established under previous laws, such as the Water Act and the Air Act.Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is an Act of the Parliament of Australia that provides a framework for protection of the Australian environment, including its biodiversity and its natural and culturally significant places. Enacted on 17 July 2000, it established a range of processes to help protect and promote the recovery of threatened species and ecological communities, and preserve significant places from decline. The EPBC Act replaced the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975.
The EPBC Act established the use of Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations, which have provided for the issuing of approvals and permits for a range of activities on Commonwealth land and land affecting the Commonwealth. For example, commercial picking of wildflowers is regulated under the EPBC Act, and cannot be undertaken without an appropriate permit. Failure to comply with the Act can result in penalties including remediation of damage, court injunctions, and criminal and civil penalties.
The EPBC Act is administered by the Australian Department of the Environment. On 16 October 2013 the Environment Minister announced that the Government had approved a framework for a "one stop shop" environmental approval process to accredit state planning systems under national environmental law, to create a single environmental assessment and approval process for nationally protected matters.On 16 June 2014 the proposed amendments passed the House of Representatives, despite opposition from environmental campaigners and significant legal commentators who have criticised the Bill and expressed concern with the delegation of Commonwealth environmental approval powers.Environmental Performance Index
The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) is a method of quantifying and numerically marking the environmental performance of a state's policies. This index was developed from the Pilot Environmental Performance Index, first published in 2002, and designed to supplement the environmental targets set forth in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.The EPI was preceded by the Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), published between 1999 and 2005. Both indices were developed by Yale University (Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy) and Columbia University (Center for International Earth Science Information Network) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The ESI was developed to evaluate environmental sustainability relative to the paths of other countries. Due to a shift in focus by the teams developing the ESI, the EPI uses outcome-oriented indicators, then working as a benchmark index that can be more easily used by policy makers, environmental scientists, advocates and the general public. Other leading indices like the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) provide an integrated measure of the environmental, social and economic dynamics of national economies. The GGEI utilizes EPI data for the environmental dimension of the index while also providing a performance assessment of efficiency sectors (e.g. transport, buildings, energy), investment, green innovation and national leadership around climate change.
In January 2012 four EPI reports have been released — the Pilot 2006 Environmental Performance Index, and the 2008, 2010, and 2012 Environmental Performance Index. For the 2012 report, a new "Pilot Trend EPI" was developed to rank countries based on the environmental performance changes occurred during the last decade, allowing to establish which countries are improving and which are declining.In the 2014 EPI ranking, the top five countries were Switzerland, Luxembourg, Australia, Singapore, and the Czech Republic. The bottom five countries in 2014 were Somalia, Mali, Haiti, Lesotho, and Afghanistan. The United Kingdom was ranked in 12th place, Japan 26th place, the United States 33rd, Brazil 77th, China 118th, and India came in 155th. The top five countries based on their 2012 Pilot Trend EPI were Estonia, Kuwait, El Salvador, Namibia and Congo.Environmental impact statement
An environmental impact statement (EIS), under United States environmental law, is a document required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for certain actions "significantly affecting the quality of the human environment". An EIS is a tool for decision making. It describes the positive and negative environmental effects of a proposed action, and it usually also lists one or more alternative actions that may be chosen instead of the action described in the EIS. Several U.S. state governments require that a document similar to an EIS be submitted to the state for certain actions. For example, in California, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) must be submitted to the state for certain actions, as described in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). One of the primary authors of the act is Lynton K. Caldwell.Georgetown Environmental Law Review
The Georgetown Environmental Law Review is a quarterly student-edited law review published at Georgetown University Law Center covering the legal implications of environmental issues including: climate change, renewable energy, and the intersection of the environment and international legal areas such as trade, human rights, security, and technology transfer. It was established in 1988 as the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review and obtained its current title in 2015. The first issue of each year's volume is dedicated to international issues. According to the Washington & Lee University law review rankings, the journal has an impact factor of 0.43.List of environmental journals
This is a list of scholarly, peer-reviewed academic journals focused on the biophysical environment and/or humans' relations with it. Inclusion of journals focused on the built environment is appropriate. Included in this list are journals from a wide variety of interdisciplinary fields including from the environmental sciences, environmental social sciences, environmental humanities, etc.Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA), codified at 16 U.S.C. §§ 703–712 (although §709 is omitted), is a United States federal law, first enacted in 1916 to implement the convention for the protection of migratory birds between the United States and Great Britain (acting on behalf of Canada). The statute makes it unlawful without a waiver to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, or sell birds listed therein as migratory birds. The statute does not discriminate between live or dead birds and also grants full protection to any bird parts including feathers, eggs, and nests. Over 800 species are currently on the list.Some exceptions to the act, including the eagle feather law, are enacted in federal regulations (50 C.F.R. 22), which regulate the taking, possession, and transportation of bald eagles, golden eagles, and their "parts, nests, and eggs" for "scientific, educational, and depredation control purposes; for the religious purposes of American Indian tribes; and to protect other interests in a particular locality." Enrolled members of federally recognized tribes may apply for an eagle permit for use in "bona fide tribal religious ceremonies."The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues permits for otherwise prohibited activities under the act. These include permits for taxidermy, falconry, propagation, scientific and educational use, and depredation, an example of the latter being the killing of geese near an airport, where they pose a danger to aircraft.
The Act was enacted in an era when many bird species were threatened by the commercial trade in birds and bird feathers. The Act was one of the first federal environmental laws (the Lacey Act had been enacted in 1900). The Act replaced the earlier Weeks-McLean Act (1913). Since 1918, similar conventions between the United States and four other nations have been made and incorporated into the MBTA: Mexico (1936), Japan (1972) and the Soviet Union (1976, now its successor state Russia). Some of the conventions stipulate protections not only for the birds themselves, but also for habitats and environs necessary for the birds' survival.
Constitutionally this law is of interest as it is a use of the federal treaty-making power to override the provisions of state law. The principle that the federal government may do this was upheld in the case Missouri v. Holland.National Ambient Air Quality Standards
The U.S. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS, pronounced \'naks\) are standards for harmful pollutants. Established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under authority of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), NAAQS is applied for outdoor air throughout the country.National Green Tribunal Act
National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues. It draws inspiration from the India's constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.New York University Environmental Law Journal
The New York University Environmental Law Journal is a student-run law review published at the New York University School of Law. The journal primarily publishes articles and notes that discuss topics involving environmental law, land-use law, and other related disciplines.Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law
The Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law is a journal of legal scholarship by an independent student group at University of Pittsburgh School of Law, focusing on environmental law and public health. The journal was founded in 2006 and is published annually, with past available online. It is published by the University Library System, University of Pittsburgh as part of its D-Scribe Digital Publishing program.Polluter pays principle
In environmental law, the polluter pays principle is enacted to make the party responsible for producing pollution responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment. It is regarded as a regional custom because of the strong support it has received in most Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and European Union countries. It is a fundamental principle in US environmental law.Safety data sheet
A safety data sheet (SDS), material safety data sheet (MSDS), or product safety data sheet (PSDS) is a document that lists information relating to occupational safety and health for the use of various substances and products. SDSs are a widely used system for cataloging information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures. SDS information may include instructions for the safe use and potential hazards associated with a particular material or product, along with spill-handling procedures. SDS formats can vary from source to source within a country depending on national requirements.
A SDS for a substance is not primarily intended for use by the general consumer, focusing instead on the hazards of working with the material in an occupational setting. There is also a duty to properly label substances on the basis of physico-chemical, health or environmental risk. Labels can include hazard symbols such as the European Union standard symbols. The same product (e.g. paints sold under identical brand names by the same company) can have different formulations in different countries. The formulation and hazard of a product using a generic name may vary between manufacturers in the same country.United States environmental law
United States environmental law concerns legal standards to protect human health and improve the natural environment of the United States. While subject to criticism at home and abroad on issues of protection, enforcement, and over-regulation, the country remains an important source of environmental legal expertise and experience.University of Missouri School of Law
The University of Missouri School of Law (Mizzou Law or MU Law) is the law school of the University of Missouri. It is located on the university's main campus in Columbia, forty minutes from the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City. The school was founded in 1872 by the Curators of the University of Missouri. Its alumni include governors, legislators, judges, attorneys general, and law professors across the country. According to Mizzou Law's 2016 ABA-required disclosures, 82 percent of the 2016 class obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.University of Oregon School of Law
The University of Oregon School of Law is a public law school in the U.S. state of Oregon. Housed in the Knight Law Center, it is Oregon's only state funded law school. The school, founded in 1884, is located on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, on the corner of 15th and Agate streets, overlooking Hayward Field.Vermont Law School
Vermont Law School (VLS) is a private, American Bar Association‑accredited law school located in South Royalton, Vermont. The school has one of the United States' leading programs in environmental law, and has maintained consistently high ranking in Environmental Law by U.S. News and World Report. The Law School offers several degrees, including Juris Doctor (JD), Master of Laws (LLM) in Environmental Law, Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP), Master of Food and Agriculture Law and Policy (MFALP), Master of Energy Regulation and Law (MERL), and dual degrees with a diverse range of institutions. According to Vermont Law School's 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 54.5% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.Will Amos
William Amos (born December 4, 1974) is a Canadian Liberal politician elected to represent the riding of Pontiac in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 federal election.