Mon mornings 9-11.
Env law is relatively new. Didn’t exist before 1970. Predecessor topics were rights to natural resources
(mining and water law), nuisance. The 70’s is “the environmental decade.” In the late 60’s the “ecology movement”
sprung up. 1969 oil blowup, pipe burst in Santa Barbara: oil covered dead animals. It got a lot of media attention. First
earth day in 1970. Very imp politically and socially (earth day today doesn’t do that). It made env protection broadly
appealing, politically. The changes that followed was that this stuff became governed by statutes rather than c/l
(nuisance and stuff), and it became federal rather than state.
NIPA requires env impact statements. Signed in 1970, first act of decade, signed under Nixon. Clean Air act,
1970, clean water act, 72, FIFRA am’s 72, stuff in 74, Waste thing 76, toxic sub 76, Superfund (CERCLA) 1980.
Explosion of this body of law. The whole statutory anthology comes from decade of 70s. No other body of law grew
so rapidly and explosively.
CAA req’d that emissions from automobiles must be reduced 90% in 5 years. Original versions of the leg
said 10 years. (Musky and Nixon get into a pissing match to see whose better environmentalist. Rep and dem both
fighting to be better env!). The vision back in the 70’s was “damn the cost. You can’t put a price on health and clean
air.” Huge vision. Clean water act expected no more water pollution in the whole country by 1977.
Everything since that time has been backing off, temporing, and enormous increase in legal complexity of the
statutes. The am’s to the 1970’s statutes are 5 times as long as the originals and very complex.
Today’s class is “why intervene to regulate env?” Next class “__.” Third class is “how” agencies and stuff.
3 ways of thinking about env law. Values: “it’s imp to protect __.” Ecology: scientific inquiry into the harms
that may flow to env systems. Economic: CBA. All three influence the laws. But during the 70’s, an environmental
values ethic dominated, and today it’s economic.
The free mkt system is great for consumer goods. Bad for social amenities, public goods. Everybody agrees
that mkts fail in some circumstances, but the fight is about when have we recognized a mkt failure and when does it
Environmental quality has a value but not a price. Cuz there’s no prop rights to it (say, clean air), and
therefore no mkt for it, and no price for it. So the mechanisms that the free mkt system provides for avoiding waste
(the cost of the good or the cost of replacing it) does not exist in the case of “wasting” environmental benefits like