assignment - ' (xr: :(lle rn'lrl r "lt t'ri:, ,; '...

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:(lle rn'lrl r "lt t'ri€:, ,; '(xr: tnn t hxlrr".yr iQ fi 2ffi3 " t'^viri"T r"^ctr'trfl *eu, **, I-ar-u'r '. Fo l;(:)' fr, utru D.Ar-i i 'r PART I Tools of the Trade CHAPTER 1 An Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy I. Why Study Environmental Law? The simplest definition of "environmental law and policy" might read: "the use of governmental authority to protect the natural environ- ment and human health from the impacts of pollution and develop- ment." While accurate, this defrnition suffers from two fatal flaws-(l) it's deadly boring and (2) it fails to capture why environmental law matters. Instead of laboring over a precise definition, instead pick up today's newspaper and see if you find any of the following tlpes of headlines- "Scientists Say Climate Heating IJp," "Endangered Salamander Stops Development," "Environmental Protection Agency To Clamp Down on Benzene Emissions," "Pesticides Found in Local Groundwater." Envi- ronmental law and policy are a part of everyday life, no matter where you live. It is more than protecting cuddly pandas or clamping down on Dickensian factories that belch smoke and churn out barrels of waste. Indeed the freld cuts a remarkably broad swath-taking in climate change, water pollution, wetlands conservation, wildlife protection, green spaces, ozone depletion, smog alerts, recycling, etc. While every field jealously claims for itself primacy as "the most important area of the law," environmental law has as good a claim on that any. Why should we care about environmental law? Because, taken together, the challenges to environmental quality have a critical influence on where we live, how well we live and, perhaps most impor- tant. the kind of world our children and their children will live in. These things matter. Consider how sea level rise will affect a coastal communi- ty, what soil erosion means to a farming community, what the collapse of a frshery does to a fishing community, and how long it will take to reverse these impacts, ifthey even can be reversed. Not only does environmental law matter, it's also difficult, contro- versial, and fascinating. Our regulation ofendangered species, to take an example, challenges deeply held convictions across the political spectrum. I + Li l:r !i 1: t' q::
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TOOLS OF THE TRADE Pt. 1 Do endangered species have rights that we should respect? How do we balance the benefits of saving an endangered salamander against the costs of an industrial development that can provide jobs to an economi- cally depressed town? Do some species deserve more legal protection than others? We may be wiiling to protect a bald eagle, but who really cares about the Delhi Sands flower loving fly? The annual debates over drilling for oil in the Arctic National
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This note was uploaded on 09/23/2011 for the course ENVS 690 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at S.F. State.

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assignment - ' (xr: :(lle rn'lrl r "lt t'ri:, ,; '...

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