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environmental law: an overview

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was passed in 1970 along with the Environmental Quality Improvement Act, the Environmental Education Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The main objective of these federal enactments was to assure that the environment be protected against both public and private actions that failed to take account of costs or harms inflicted on the eco-system.

The EPA was supposed to monitor and analyze the environment, conduct research, and work closely with state and local governments to devise pollution control policies. NEPA (really enacted in 1969) has been described as one of Congress's most far reaching environmental legislation ever passed. The basic purpose of NEPA is to force governmental agencies to consider the effects on the environment of their decisions.

State laws also reflect the same concerns and common law actions in nuisance allow adversely affected property owners to seek a judicial remedy for environtal harms harms.


menu of sources

Federal Material

    Federal Statutes
    Federal Agency Regulations
  • Code of Federal Regulations: 40 C.F.R. - Protection of Environment
    Federal Judicial Decisions
State Material

    State Statutes and Regulations
  • Dealing with Natural Resources
  • Dealing with Water
  • State Environmental Regulations
  • Uniform Laws:
    • Uniform Transboundary Pollution Reciprocal Access Act (adopted by Colorado, Connecticut, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, and Wisconsin)
    • Uniform Conservation Easement Act (adopted by Alaska, Arizona, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin)
    State Judicial Decisions
International Material

    Conventions and Treaties
Other References

    Key Internet Sources
    Useful Offnet (or Subscription - $) Sources
  • Good Starting Point in Print: Celia Campbell-Mohn, Barry Breen, & J. William Futrell, Hornbook on Environmental Law, West Group (1994)

Other Law Topics Bearing on Property, Natural Resources, or the Environment


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