Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
What is Environmental Law?
Ask an Environmental Law Attorney for Legal Advice
Environmental law involves the legislation in place to protect the natural environment of the United States, specifically to reduce the negative impact of human activity on nature by way of pollution and destruction. Chemical spills are a common threat to the environment, just as poaching, wetland destruction, and the depletion of natural resources also cause harm. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) creates and enforces regulations designed to protect the United States’ natural resources from negative human interference. State and federal environmental law vary from place to place, so it’s a good idea to become familiar with environmental regulations in your area.
A good deal of environmental law also deals with the agriculture industry in the United States. For example, there are specific rules regarding pesticide use, erosion control, water quality, and more which could affect the way a farm, ranch, or other environmentally connected business can operate. For help ensuring that your farm or company meets EPA standards or to take action over the unlawful destruction of natural resources in your area, contact an environmental law attorney to learn more about your options.
Major Environmental Laws
Whenever you work in an industry or are considering opening a business in which the operations could affect the surrounding environment, it’s important to be aware of environmental laws. It may also help to be aware of environmental laws if you are concerned that the environment is being harmed due to a breach of these rules and regulations.
Some of the most significant environmental laws include:
- Endangered Species Act (ESA): This act is designed to protect endangered species from reaching extinction.
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA): This act deals with the safe disposal of solid, hazardous waste in order to prevent harm to the environment.
- “Superfund” or Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA): This act is designed to regulate the cleaning up process of areas that are already polluted, hold liable parties accountable, and provide the necessary funding.
- Clean Air Act (CAA): This act is designed to prevent excessive levels of air pollution. Both stationary products such as factories and mobile products such as vehicles are required to remain within the levels established in this act.
- Clean Water Act (CWA): This act is designed to protect the nation’s water sources from pollutants such as chemicals, debris, etc. Runoff from factories is a commonly discussed violation of this act and can result in local wildlife and even people falling ill.
- Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA): This act ensures that any product designed to keep away or kill insects or vermin meets EPA standards of ingredients, usage, and even labeling.
- Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA): This act deals largely with treating public land in a sustainable way, preventing the possibility that future generations might be unable to use it for recreational or other purposes.
- National Forest Management Act (NFMA): This act is intended to protect national forests from excessive logging or other actions that could cause permanent or severe damage to a national forest.
Anyone can file an environmental lawsuit if they have reasonable cause. While state and federal environmental laws tend to differ slightly, when they appear in opposition the federal law is more commonly favored. If your property, loved ones, or surrounding environment have been affected by negligent behavior on the part of an individual or company, seek legal counsel from an environmental law attorney to learn more about your options.