U.S. Environmental Law

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE, THU 9:05 - 10:20 am JON 6.207/8

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Final exam December 14, 2018 8:30 am A-Z in 2.123


This course surveys environmental law in the United States from its roots in the common law to the explosion of legislation and regulation that emerged in the 1970's and continues through the present. Beyond gaining basic competence in navigating the major laws that govern environment and public health protection, the course will introduce students to the regulatory state. We will examine the ways in which courts, Congress, and agencies sometimes work together and sometimes act at cross purposes in developing and implementing regulatory programs. The course will also consider the disparate inputs that inform environmental programs--values, economics, and science--and how conflicts over these inputs can lead to surprising compromises in statutory and regulatory outcomes. The course will survey six major statutes, with particular emphasis on laws regulating air and water pollution and the laws protecting endangered species and public resources. The course will incorporate several case studies (e.g., climate change regulation, habitat conservation planning, market-based regulatory regimes) as a complement to the topics addressed in the casebook. Students completing the Survey course will be well-positioned to take one or more advanced environmental law courses, although the Survey course is not a prerequisite for enrollment in any of them. Students who have already taken an advanced or an analogous survey course in environmental law may not enroll in this introductory Survey course.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

Practicing Environmental Law *
Todd Aagaard, David Owen, and Justin Pidot
Foundation Press , edition: 2017
ISBN: 9781634593076


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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
12/27/2018 Exam information updated