This course addresses legislative, regulatory, and policy efforts to prevent harmful pollution within the practical and political constraints of an industrialized society. The course begins with a consideration of the core concepts involved in environmental protection, including common-law doctrinal antecedents and early efforts to address pollution in the United States. The course then addresses the major federal environmental statutes, including the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund), and the Clean Air Act. We consider doctrinal and theoretical issues in environmental regulation, as well as challenges that emerge in the interpretation, implementation and enforcement of a complex statutory and regulatory scheme. The course also includes an introduction to the topic of global climate change.
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