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Spring 2012 - Environmental Policy & Law

Rawlins, Rachael

Course ID: 379M  Unique # 29396  Credit Hours: 3
Meeting DaysTimesLocation
   Monday 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm CAL 419
   Wednesday 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm CAL 419
No exam information is available for this class.
Registration Information
This course is restricted to upper division students only.

Instructor:  Rachael Rawlins

This course is about environmental law, a subject that necessarily includes consideration of environmental science, environmental economics, and environmental policy as essential elements of its analysis.  In addition to teaching about the substance of the laws pertaining to the environment, the course pursues a broader goal of teaching about how the legal system functions in an area of vital public concern.

The coursebook, Environmental Law and Policy:  Nature, Law, and Society, by Plater et al., uses the structure of the legal system as its organizing principle, selecting the best examples of how the process works—including an array of classic environmental cases—without focusing on the intricacy of a media-specific physical science area.  We will also be reading A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr, a nonfiction legal thriller. 

Topics that will be covered in the course include:
• The Common Law in Modern Environmental Law, Toxic Torts
• The Administrative Process & Law of Environmental Law
• Disclosure Strategies:  NEPA’s Stop-and-Think Logic
• Harm based Ambient Standards:  The Clean Air Act’s Stationary Source Regulation
• Administrative Standards Based on “Available Technology:” The Clean Water Act
• Roadblock Strategies:  Stark Prohibitions and their Viability:  Endangered Species Act
• Market Access Regulation, TOSCA
• Life-Cycle Waste Control Strategies:  RCRA’s “Cradle-to-Grave” Regulation
• Remedial Strategies, CERCLA

Course Requirements
30% = 3 quizzes (10% each).

15% = Field assignment involving observation at a hearing or meeting concerning a local environmental controversy and preparation of a report.  Interview two people.  Identify the legal and/or policy issue(s), the arguments and/or policy issues on each side.  Provide your perspective on the relevant issues and outcome.  Consider any relevant rules of law, as well as equity and environmental concerns (as applicable).  If the topic is complicated, you may narrow the issues.  Provide citations to any background material.  (approx.  10 pages).

20% = Class Participation:  presentation of cases and reports, and general participation.

35% = Final Exam (Identifying and applying rules of law; policy questions; and multiple choice section). 

Related Course Areas