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Environmental Law 1: Nature, Law and Society


Description: This course is an introduction to US law and policy governing air, water and other natural resources, species and public health, and the human activities that affect them and are influenced by them. We consider environmental law and policy at local, state, regional and transnational scales, with a primary focus on US federal law statutes: the Clean Air Act, Clean
Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, CERCLA (Superfund) and the Endangered Species Act. These statutes are representative of varied approaches to regulation and students who pursue a range of environmental careers will most likely be working with them. The class will examine sources of law, including the common law, the US Constitution, legislation, administrative rulemaking, formal and informal law and evolving negotiated and market-based approaches to regulation. You will develop basic skills in legal research, case analysis, statutory interpretation and regulatory design. The course is intended to prepare students entering environmental professions to understand the laws, regulations and court decisions you will encounter; introduce you to related history and regulatory theory; and to introduce you to legal studies.

** This course does not have a prerequisite course. However, you will need to know, before the course starts, the basics of how the government of the United States works. The New Jersey Citizen’s Guide to Government that the League of Women Voters publishes annually, free, is a good source. This is essential knowledge for you to make sense of the law and policy that we will be studying.

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: **see note below

Course Syllabus

Historic Course Instructors: