Environmental Law

Environmental Law

Analysis and assessment of the law relating to the use and protection of the physical environment.

This paper complements LAWS 415 Resource Management Law and covers topics including environmental governance, indigenous forests, commercial fisheries and fishing-related mortality, the conservation estate and Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

Environmental Law: An Overview

A variety of protections with the goal of protecting the environment.  Environmental law is a “belt-and-suspenders” collection of laws that work together and often overlap in areas.

Federal Law

Federal Law: The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was passed in 1970 along with the Environmental Quality Improvement Act, the National 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 is 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 of their decisions on the environment.

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