Environmental Law

Logging Defined

Logging Defined

Logging is the process by which individuals remove trees from the forest in order to make wood products. Logging is usually done with machinery which is driven through the forest, to the point at which trees will be removed. In some cases, loggers remove every tree and in others, loggers select certain kinds of trees for removal.
 
 
Logging and selective logging can both interfere with the fragile environment. In recent years, there have been restrictions put in place to limit areas which can be logged. Selective logging can be even more harmful to the environment and wasteful. As loggers go through the forest to collect selected trees, they tear down trees and plants to get to the selected area. Those trees are then left on the forest floor, rather than being utilized.
 
 
Many logging companies now work with local governments in order to take part in responsible logging practices. This may include replanting trees, or moving carefully through the forest to get to the selected area. In many cases, there are more stringent rules in place to prevent irresponsible logging. However, many areas allow loggers complete freedom of movement with very little restrictions.
 
 
Recycling efforts have cut down on the need for such extensive logging in many parts of the world. In fact, some logging companies now take part in recycling practices in order to stay competitive. However, there will always be a need for some logging and for rules which regulate the practice.
 

Quick Overview to Environmental Law

Quick Overview to Environmental LawEnvironmental law background

Environmental laws are enacted in order to protect the environment. The laws may differ internationally and even within states, but all environmental laws are meant to encourage responsible practices by businesses which have an impact on the environment.
 
International environmental law
International environmental law is often impacted by the research findings of the environmental law institute. The institute publishes their findings so that businesses can prosper, while treating the environment with respect. They often release impact studies ion damage to the environment caused by businesses, but they also release research findings that indicate the best solutions.
 
Environmental remediation


 
Environmental remediation is the process by which contaminants are removed from the environment. Pollutants may be removed from waterways, land and soil. The process is usually conducted by professionals that handle sensitive environmental issues.
 
National park
The national park system was implemented to protect lad from development. There are many protected species that live in national parks and the protected land often allows endangered species to thrive. The national park system is also in place so that everyone can enjoy nature, while protecting the fragile ecosystem.
 
Environmental justice
Environmental justice is the idea that everyone has the rights to enjoy the environment around them. This can include nature and structures. In fact, environmental justice includes access to learning, playing and living in ones surrounding environment.
Logging
Logging is the process by which trees are removed from the forest in order to be used for wood products. There are much more strict laws in place which are meant to prevent irresponsible logging practices.

Environmental Laws At A Glance

Environmental Laws At A Glance

Environmental laws are meant to protect the environment, to ensure a healthier future for humanity. The laws may prevent certain activities by corporations, such as illegal dumping. In contrast,  environmental laws also encourage certain actions, such as the use of alternative energy.
Environmental laws are much stricter is some areas of the world than they are in others. In fact, many states have different laws which protect the environment. In some areas for instance. lobbying efforts by big businesses, have resulted in less stringent guidelines for those companies which may have an impact on the environment.
One example, on a small scale, is that some states do not require companies to recycle, although private citizens are expected to do so. when companies are not legally required to recycle, they are much less likely to do so. Yet, in some states, companies must comply with all recycling regulations, regardless of the size of the company or the additional cost incurred by the company.
On a larger scale,  environmental law may impact all industries, big and small. For example, most states have laws which regulate the manner in which a company is to dispose of waste produced by that company. Waste may simply include garbage, but it may also include pollutants.
Environmental laws seek to regulate industry so that there is a minimal impact on the environment, while still allowing these companies to conduct business.

International Environmental Law

International Environmental Law

The environmental Law Institute is recognized for their knowledge on environmental issues, including laws which should be enacted to protect the environment. They seek to educate the public, as well as lawmakers, through their publications and newsletters which confront environmental and legal issues.
International environmental law has been largely based on the findings of the Environmental Law institute. The organization is made up of researchers and lawyers that frequently publish pertinent research findings. Those publications my have differing target audiences but are often geared towards enacting change.
The Environmental law institute conducts research on the impact big businesses have on the environment. International environmental law is greatly influenced by the research which seeks to allow businesses to prosper, while also protecting the fragile environment.
Research is often sent to lawmakers, businesses and others that have the opportunity to enact change. In addition to several publications, the organization also holds seminars in order to educate officials and the public alike.
They may publish impact studies which clearly show the impact that certain actions have had on the environment. However, they also offer solutions, so that businesses can continue to operate, while acting responsibly.
In addition to enacting change in international environmental laws, the Environment Law  Institute also provides businesses with the opportunity to learn responsible business practices which allow them to thrive. In fact, the organization shares equal focus between prosperous businesses and protecting the environment.
 

Environmental Remediation Explained Easy

Environmental Remediation Explained Easy

Environmental remediation is process by which contaminates or pollutants are removed from an area. For example, there may be a specific process by which a company would work to remove ground contaminants. Those contaminates may have spread passed the area which was originally contaminated. Environmental remediation may involve much larger areas than that which would have needed attention upon the immediate contamination.
 
 
Environmental remediation may include efforts from several entities. In many cases, the environmental protection agency is involved and they may in fact be the organization which orders the remediation. They my dictate the manner in which the process must be completed.
 
 
The company or entity which caused the original contamination, is generally responsible for remediation. However, it may take a court order or a settlement to force them to do so. The settlement would likely be used for professionals to handle the environmental remediation, as many companies would be unable to properly conduct that type of operation on their own.
 
 
Professionals may conduct studies to see how extensive the damage to the environment is. The area may be quarantined and those that live in the area may find that it is no longer safe to do so. The water in the area will likely be tested  to ensure that it is safe for drinking and then work to remove the contaminants would begin.  That process may be both time and labor intensive and often times, the contaminates can not be completely removed.

What You Should Know About Common Law Actions

What You Should Know About Common Law Actions

In environmental law, common law actions may be brought against any entity that acts irresponsibly against the environment.  Sometimes the concept of personal property and the right to use property however way one wants is in conflict with the interests of the environment and all the beings that inhabit the environment.

Organizations advocate for environmental safety on behalf of animals, humans, and the sustainability of every ecosystem on Earth. Civil disputes in regards to environmental law can be brought at the instant that someone acts negligently in any capacity to the detrimental of anyone or anything in the environment. Plants and animals do not have standing in court because they cannot speak.

Unfortunately, many common law actions concerning  environmental law are brought to court after wrong has been done. Fortunately, the wrongs that are done against the environment do not have to result in injury to be resolved in a court of law. Types of common law actions depend on who is responsible and the extent of the harm or wrongdoing.

Nuisance

Nuisance is the use of personal, corporate, or public property to the detriment of a neighboring property holder. Nuisance suits come in two different types: public or private. The type of nuisance suit is structured on the extent to which one’s use of property threatens the enjoyment of other parties’ property.

Public nuisances often criminally violate environmental law. Criminal as well civil proceedings may result from public nuisance suits initiated by public or private entities. Since environmental crimes are typically of a public nature, public nuisances can become criminal cases. The states can sue corporations that violate environmental law as well. Private nuisances usually involve no statutory offenses.

However, the lawful use of one’s property can inflict harm upon someone else’s property. To file either a public or private nuisance suit, physical injury or damage does not have to be reported. Nuisances are brought if the one’s annoying use of property has not yet done harm or is just plain annoying. 

Negligence & Strict Liability

“Tort” is nothing more than a fancy word for a personal wrongdoing. In civil litigation, including environmental civil litigation, there are two types of tort. There must be some form of physical injury or harm done as a result of someone’s disregard or irresponsibility. In environmental law, there must be some form of harm done to the environment whose negligible actions ruined the livelihood of another party.

Everyone is dependent on the environment; therefore, it is inevitable that an irresponsible act against the environment will result losses of another party. A tort of negligence makes the claim that an individual or corporation’s is solely responsible for the injury or harm that brought the dispute to civil court.

A tort of strict liability concentrates culpability to a third party. For example, when an oil tanker ship leaks oil and destroys the beach tourism and the coastal habitat, if it can be proven or is suspected that the ship’s rivets on the hull were defective and would reasonably sustain the type of blow that ruptured the hull on the tanker, then the manufacturer of the rivets is responsible.

The liability for the environmental injury no longer lies on the captain of the ship or the shipping company, it lies on the maker of the defective rivet. These two types of torts are not often clear-cut ultimate responsibility is revealed upon the facts that are revealed as a result of the court proceedings. There are monetary damage caps for both types of torts. Maximum damages that could be won on behalf of the plaintiff is contingent upon the type of tort brought before the civil court of law.  

Environmental Law Overview

Environmental Law Overview

Environmental law covers a myriad of topics that involve the protection of the environment. Environmental law also encompasses avenues of legal recourse through which victims of environmental disasters can go.

Environmental law has has state, local, and federal provisions that are designed to ensure a livable quality of air and water. Most environmental laws target businesses who are guilty of contributing to the pollution of the air and water.

Such regulatory action is justified when certain environmental pollutants have been linked to extinction of wildlife and to the increased toxicity of the human body. As a result of environmental pollution, particularly water pollution, pregnant mothers have been warned not to eat fish because the mercury in the fish poses a threat to the development of a healthy baby. 

The Environmental Protection Agency is the federal watchdog for the environmental mismanagement of irresponsible business who dump toxins into the water or Air. The EPA has the authority to arrest and fine violators of the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act. Knowing environmental law is crucial to operating a business because the effects of pollution are becoming increasingly prominent in today’s world.   

Using Nuisance In Environmental Law

Using Nuisance In Environmental Law

In environmental law, nuisance applies to a party’s inability to allow the other party’s ability to enjoy the land on which they reside. The civil action of nuisance in application to environmental law is not necessarily contingent upon injury, it could simply constitute annoyance, welfare, health, or convenience.

Nuisance suits, in environmental law, pertain mostly to practices and property uses that encroach upon a neighbors right to enjoy their own property. The nuisance must constitute an unreasonable and objectionable public or private use of one’s land to the detriment of another’s. In environmental law, many public nuisances are considered crimes. Private nuisances make similar allegations; however, they more often involve civil court actions. 

In application to environmental law. Two parallel scenarios will illustrate the concepts of private nuisance versus public nuisance. Environmental violators that are guilty of public nuisance in a civil court proceeding conduct lawful business in accordance with local zoning, health board, and environmental statutes. For example, many cities have a butcher district. The area is specifically zoned for that type of business.

However, many people live near that district but outside of that urban district. A slaughterhouse dumps its scraps lawfully in the dumpster outside but fails to keep the dumpster lid closed. The entire neighborhood smells of rotting meat scraps. Residential neighbors complain about the awful stench.

The slaughterhouse refuses to close the lid on the dumpster. The residential neighbors can sue the slaughterhouse for failure to make a reasonable request to curb the stench by closing the dumpster lid. This is an example of a private nuisance. The slaughterhouse is not guilty of violating public environmental law. However, the slaughterhouse still guilty of impeding on the residential neighbors’ right to be free from an unreasonably bad smell. Therefore, this example fall under private nuisance.

Keeping with the theme of slaughterhouses, an example of a private nuisance in violation of environmental law willed be forged. A slaughterhouse conducts its business in a lawfully zoned area. It has all its credentials and acts in accordance with the law. However, its business practices violate public environmental law by dumping meat scraps and blood in the canal near the back lot of the facility. Part of that canal lies on the facility’s property.

The canal empties out to a beach resort on the coast. Beach goers have noticed an unusually high amount of sharks in the waters. Fortunately, no one has been injured; However, word travels and shark infested waters are bad for business.

The beach resort has reason to suspect that it may be the blood that is attracting the sharks to the waters, threatening the livelihood of the private beach goers. The violation of environmental law is first reported as a private nuisance.

Upon investigation, it becomes a public nuisance because the state has a statute against dumping food scraps into the canal, especially blood. The beach resort can still bring civil action. However, the owner of the slaughterhouse is criminally liable for his violation of environmental law because it violates the public safety.  

Know The State Laws About Trash Cans

Know The State Laws About Trash Cans Each state will prove to have its own regulations and laws in
regards to trash removal or disposal. These laws can range in terms of
the specific aspects they are applied toward, though they will usually
stem from the basic concept of making trash removal a more efficient
and simpler process.

For example, certain jurisdictions will provide
for government-funded trash removal, which will require for residents
to follow a specific schedule for trash removal pick up. Jurisdictions
will often times provide for trash cans that are registered to their
owners, as well as specific trash cans for recycle objects.
Often
times, trash cans are issued on a rental basis, though this will vary
depending on the jurisdiction. Other laws will regulate what kind of
trash material is to be placed in trash cans. For example, only
recyclable materials are to be included in recycle bins, separated in
terms of paper, plastic, or glass. Also, jurisdictions will have
restrictions in terms of the items that are to considered bulk items,
which are not to be disposed of in regular trash.

Water Pollution In Depth

Water Pollution In Depth

Water is one of the most important resources on Earth. Over 70% of the Earth’s surface is water. It considered a renewable resource. However, water has another major property, many dangerous chemicals can be dissolved into water. The dumping of refuse was common throughout human history. Before, the Industrialization is was common to through food scraps and waste into the river or other body of water.

Nature could handle that kind of pollution and that type of pollution did not have much of an adverse effect on life in the rivers. During the Industrial Revolution and well into the 20th and 21st century, mass production created amounts of toxic by-products that could no longer be effectively absorbed through nature’s natural purification process. The toxicity of water climbed to unsustainable levels that longer supported life. If life still existed in polluted waters, living things would be subject to illness, infertility, or genetic malformation. Something had to be done.

The United States Congress passed several measures at the turn of the 20th century that governed methods of dumping water. However, many of these laws were not enforced and lacked the regulatory capacity to ensure that businesses were following the rules.  By the 1970s, Congress had passed landmark legislation that ushered in the modern system of water pollution mitigation. The Clean Water Act was the landmark legislation that had the regulatory teeth that previous statutes lacked.

Navigable Waters

This is a term that is repeated throughout the Clean Water Act. According to the Statute’s language, “Navigable Waters” means water that has significant nexus to water that can accommodate vessels or swimming. “Significant nexus” is legal parlance that describes bodies of water with significant connections to larger bodies of water that allow for swimming or boats. This inexact phrasing was intended to broadly define the bodies of water that were covered under the Clean Water Act.

The idea behind such awkward phrasing was to define bodies of water subject to regulation as anything that was not a puddle in a driveway. In 2006, this part of the Clean Water Act was challenged in the Supreme Court case of Rapanos v. United States. The Court clarified the definition to narrow the scope of the law. Navigable waters was limited to only include lakes, rivers, streams, tributaries, and other recognizable geographic formations pertaining to water. 

Standards for Equipment

The EPA reserves the right to mandate that polluting companies seeking to dump their waste into a body of water must first purify the water with the best possible equipment. Polluting industries must either use their own waste management equipment that is specifically sanctioned as the best by the EPA or send their waste-water to the the municipal or county water treatment facility.

The Clean Water Act appropriates funds to local governments so that they can build their own water treatment facilities to reduce water pollution. If polluting industries choose to use the government facilities, they may transport the waste-water in EPA approved containers. They must also clean out the tanks in an EPA sanctioned manner as well.

Clean Water Act & Its Amendments

The Clean Water Act is what made any government measures to regulate water pollution feasible. The act contains language that grants the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to enforce the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act uses a combined strategy of regulatory and non-regulatory measures to ensure the safety of surface water.

The Clean Water Act does not cover ground water. The Clean Water Act covers all bodies of water that are navigable or connected to navigable waters. The act does not cover isolated and impermanent bodies of water. Therefore, the ability to bump waste into most bodies of water requires a permit. The approach to enforcing the Clean Water Act is based on maintaining water pollution at acceptable levels.

The Act also helps state and local governments deal with their local water pollution problems through waste-water exchange programs and encouraging the local enforcement of the act. The Act was amended twice in its history: in 1977 and 1987. The Clean water Act was amended to include provisions to maintain acceptable water quality for swimming and recreation. 

Wetlands

Wetlands were historically subject to much environmental abuse due to water pollution as a result of industries and businesses dumping waste-water in swamps and marshes. Wetlands were an under-appreciated geographic formation because they were mosquito infested and did not smell well. However, it was later revealed that Wetlands and the animals that inhabit them are equally as important as any other part of Earth.

Wetlands were included in the original Clean Water Act. However, the lack of appreciation for wetlands gave little cause for water pollution enforcement. Places like the Florida Everglades have lay in waste as a result of years of water pollution. Alligators were beginning to die.

The Army Corps of Engineers intervened through its program of dredging an flood control to rebuild the Florida wetlands. Many other major swamp regions have become conservation areas whose wildlife is to be respected. Polluting the water on wetlands is illegal as long as the wetlands is connected to major body of water. 

Violations of the Clean Water Act

Violating the Clean Water Act has serious consequences. Violations do not only result in slap-on-the-wrist fines and possible jail time, they result in injury. Water pollution violations all over the United States have resulted in irreparable harm done to humans as well as countless species of animals. Polluted drinking water has been the cause of several chronic illnesses that are associated with a given region.

Industrial water pollution has also been implicated in the malformation of amphibians. Doctors warn pregnant mothers to avoid eating fish because the mercury content can harm the development of fetuses. Violating the Clean Water Act is more than just a fine, it is the immoral act of ruining the health and potential of fellow living things.

Violating this act is to be avoided because it is a moral obligation to keep the waters as clean as possible because all life on earth is interrelated and pollution travels throughout the earth.