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Environmental Laws And Policies Pdf

environmental laws and policies pdf

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The effective enforcement of environmental laws and regulations is crucial for proper environmental management. In addition, the applicability of verification theory to environmental enforcement policies is assessed.

Environmental law is a collective term encompassing aspects of the law that provide protection to the environment. Other areas, such as environmental impact assessment , may not fit neatly into either category, but are nonetheless important components of environmental law. Early examples of legal enactments designed to consciously preserve the environment, for its own sake or human enjoyment, are found throughout history. In the common law , the primary protection was found in the law of nuisance , but this only allowed for private actions for damages or injunctions if there was harm to land. Thus, smells emanating from pigsties , [2] strict liability against dumping rubbish, [3] or damage from exploding dams.

Enforcement of Environmental Laws and Regulations: A Literature Review

Humanity has been aware of its environment far longer than there have been laws to protect environments. Environmental law, or sometimes known as environmental and natural resources law, is a term used to explain regulations, statutes, local, national and international legislation, and treaties designed to protect the environment from damage and to explain the legal consequences of such damage towards governments or private entities or individuals 1.

As we will explain in the next section, it covers many areas, all with the same purpose already described here. It can also describe a desire by businesses and other organizations, and their regulators to work towards improving ethical principles by setting regulation and industry standards for operating licenses. It can also apply a method of land management on a kind of understanding of acting responsibly and ethically.

Similarly, impact assessment is not always legally required, but the permission to develop, construct, modify or engineer can often be refused if one is not carried out. These are voluntary regulations rather than law conducted for the good of the environment and the local population. For various reasons, environmental law has always been a flashpoint of controversy.

Debates often center on cost, the necessity of such regulations, and the age-old friction between government regulation and encouraging the market to self-regulate and do the right thing for the good of everyone. For example, the ongoing debate over the impact of certain pesticides in agriculture , greenhouse gas emissions are often a battle between the science and industry's attempts to muddy the science and government lobbying to roll back legislation 2.

The other side of the debate is that current industry regulations and legislation are insufficient. Both sides regularly hold conferences to discuss aspects of environmental law and how they should go about getting them changed in their favor.

Whichever way we look at it, environmental law affects all of us - individual health, business activity, geographical sustainability, and the importance of preserving those for the future generations and economy. Sponsored Content Useful Environmental Law Terms Abatement : The process of reducing the quantity, intensity, or saturation of a pollutant or other harmful substance by way of treatment.

Acidification : Reducing the pH rating of a substance making it more acidic in nature, for example, increased carbon emissions lead to the oceans absorbing more of it, increasing acidification and damaging ecology such as coral bleaching. In pesticide use, it's the substance that kills or repels pests. Air emissions : Any gas emitted into the atmosphere from industrial or commercial activity.

Biodegradable : Used to describe substances and the ability of microorganisms bacteria, algae to break it down. Biodiversity : The range of species in an ecology, examining population numbers of each species, number of species, the balance between predator and prey, and the food chain. Brownfields site : Land that has been developed in the past but is now underused or disused 3. In some cases, they are risky due to potential contamination that may require investigation and treatment before construction or to simply protect the local environment.

Catalyst : A chemical compound that alters another to render it inert, less harmful, or less intense without removing some of its parts - usually adding to it.

Chlorofluorocarbons CFCs : A group of inert chemical used in many industrial and everyday processes such as our refrigerators that are not broken down at lower atmospheric levels and rise to the upper levels, destroying ozone.

These can be natural events or, as is the case at present, the result of industrial age actions in increasing greenhouse gases and reducing carbon sinks. Commercial Waste : Any waste material produced as a byproduct of commercial or industrial activity. Conservation : The preservation or restoration of a natural environment for the social, ecological, or even economical benefit.

For example, a program of river conservation will increase biodiversity while making the surrounding environment and people who live there healthier.

Decontamination : The removal of toxic or other harmful substances from an environment. The substance may be harmful to wildlife, people, biodiversity or the overall ecology. Drainage : The process of removing excess moisture from land - typically wetlands or saturated agricultural land. Dredging : The removal of silt, mud, or other sold material from the bed of a body of water. Too much of this material can cause flooding.

Emission : Any pollutant discharged into the atmosphere that will contribute to overall chemical change as it will not be broken down or otherwise removed.

Endangered species : Any species whose numbers and diversity is so low that they are at danger of becoming extinct. Energy Efficiency : The amount of energy harnessed from the combustion process burning fuel. Machinery, motor vehicles, and our homes are said to be energy efficient the more energy that is extracted from lower or smaller volumes of the source.

Filtration : Removing solid waste and material from water in the process of wastewater treatment. Fossil fuel : Any mineralized formerly organic material extracted from the ground and used in energy production: coal, natural gas, oil.

Greenfields site : The opposite of brownfield sites, it is typically land that has been used only for agricultural use, or forested area, that has never been developed for residential, commercial or industrial use 4. They are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, CFCs, and hydrofluorocarbons. Half-life : the time it takes for any pollutant usually refers to radioactive material but also includes other toxic material to halve its effect on the environment.

This can include corrosive, toxic, explosive, flammable, or chemical reactants. Hazardous Waste : Similar to above, but waste material produced as a byproduct of any commercial or industrial activity that has the same dangerous attributes.

As it is a waste, it serves no purpose on its own. Indigenous species : A species of flora or fauna recognized as being native to a certain area.

Indoor air pollution : coming under OSHA rather than EPA, there are laws in place to ensure that employees work in a clean and safe environment with good ventilation. Indoor air is anything contained with a building.

Indoor air pollution is any chemical or other substances contributing to an imbalance that could affect the health of the building's inhabitants. Invasive species : A species of flora or fauna not native to a certain area, but one that has colonized it - usually presenting problems for native wildlife. Invasive species are sometimes subject to active control and deliberate removal. Landfill : An area of land set aside for the disposal of waste - usually commercial or residential of non-toxic waste although in the case of where they might contain such, treatment may be required to prevent pollution.

Margin of Safety : The designated upper limit of exposure to a potentially harmful substance before it becomes harmful. This can apply to human health and to environmental exposure. Material Safety Data Sheet : An international standard form containing information relevant to a substance's toxicity, hazardousness, and potential environmental damage. It also explains proper protection equipment and what to do in the result of exposure First Aid.

It prohibits the discharge of polluting chemicals into US waters unless a special permit is granted. They use a hazard ranking system and a fund is made available for remediation.

National Response Team NRT : This is a team from 13 different Federal agencies that come together to coordinate federal responses to incidents such as natural disasters, oil spills, significant pollution emission, chemical releases and so on.

Ozone layer : A protective layer of gas in the upper atmosphere that absorbs the sun's must harmful radiation. Its depletion was one of the major problems of the s.

Pollutant : A substance or material introduced into an environment that has negative or harmful effects to the ecology or specific biological species, or one that reduces the efficiency or safety of a resource. Radiation : The transmission of energy through space. It can be ionizing or non-ionizing.

The former is powerful enough to break bonds x-rays the latter is not radio frequency. Remediation : The process of removing toxic materials from an environment and the attempt to restore it to a previous state. This can be anything from asbestos , lead and other heavy metals, and radioactive isotopes. Risk Assessment : An official investigation, usually required legally, to examine risk exposure and potential consequences under any scenario. Sanctions : This legal term also exists outside of environmental law and it means the same thing.

It's the application of measures against a polluter or other entity or person who breaks environmental law. Often, measures will include a ban on government contracts. Sewage : Solid and liquid waste removed from residential properties, typically human waste but also includes anything that uses water to take it away.

Smog is not natural, It is the direct result of emissions from industrial processes. Vulnerable Zone : During a chemical leak, it will be necessary to track its most likely path based on meteorological data. The vulnerable zone is the area where the airborne pollutant or chemical might because problematic.

Water budget : What is the difference between the water stock and the water used? Increasingly important in drought-hit areas, it's important to monitor and manage water supplies to ensure we don't use more than is available. It's higher during wet periods and lower during drier spells.

Wetlands : A wetland is an area of land that has a high water table or one that is typically flooded for most of the time. It can be tidal or non-tidal and includes marshes and floodplains. The Everglades National Park is one such example. They are often a haven for wildlife and subject to protections to preserve their unique profile. There are many areas under the umbrella of environmental law. All have one thing in common - the protection of ecology and the health of the environment.

The first and most visible way in which the public is aware of and engaged with environmental law is pollution. Some of the world's earliest environmental laws concern the protection of our environment from polluting materials and, by extension, aim to improve public health. Air Pollution and Quality : This is the enforcement of air standards through monitoring that determines what constitutes safe levels of certain substances emitted by industrial processes, motor vehicles, and part of our everyday lives.

There are laws for the outside and indoor environments to ensure safe working levels. They are designed to protect human and ecological health. Some are concerned with placing limitations on emissions as some countries now include emissions tests for annual vehicle safety checks while others are enacted to eliminate it altogether. One of the best examples of control or elimination is the global legislation in the s to limit CFC emissions that were damaging the ozone layer 5.

There may also be requirements on what technologies must be used for mitigation such as the use of catalytic converters in cars that used older lead fuel 6.

Contaminant Cleanup, Prevention and Mitigation : Toxic spills and leaks happen even with all the best intentions in the world. While some are the result of negligence, some are unavoidable. Regardless of whether such a pollutant leak is avoidable or unavoidable, there are necessary laws determining what is required of the responsible party and the team responsible for the cleanup should do to ensure that contamination is first limited and controlled, and then removed from an environment to avoid longer-term or large-scale damage.

Regulations can also include liability, response, determine the process of investigation, monitoring before, during and after cleanup, and the risk assessment of long-term effects. Safe Use of Chemicals : The safe use of chemicals is required in any workplace where they are used: from industrial manufacturing to agriculture, testing laboratories , professional cleaning, repair garages, such chemical safety laws seek to govern how we use them.

This means the corrects storage of chemicals, their use, safety equipment in their application, the types of storage containers and even how and who they are bought and sold such as licenses, to registered businesses and so on. This seeks to manage and control by limiting risk and ensuring safety, the actual chemicals and substances where they are necessary. Environmental law has also banned some chemicals where their risks outweigh the benefits.

Major Environmental Laws

Official websites use. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites. GSA is committed to being a responsible environmental steward through the consideration of the environment in all our business practices, compliance with environmental laws and regulation, using environmentally beneficial products and services, and using resources in a sustainable manner. GSA is committed to incorporating principles of sustainable design and energy efficiency into all of its building projects. Sustainable design seeks to locate, design, construct and operate buildings to reduce negative impact on the environment and the consumption of natural resources. Sustainable design improves building performance while keeping in mind the health and comfort of building occupants. It is an integrated, synergistic approach, in which all phases of the facility lifecycle are considered.

The DEC enforces environmental laws through a number of means, including traditional police-type law enforcement, as well as administrative and civil actions. To be effective, state enforcement personnel and policies must work in concert with their local and federal counterparts, and citizens must be kept informed and involved. Through compliance inspection reviews and with regulatory and technical knowledge, DEC's regional enforcement coordination efforts ensure the enforcement process is handled in a timely and appropriate manner. DEC will enter into legally binding agreements, called Orders on Consent, with parties that have violated environmental laws or regulations. DEC is also authorized to assess injuries to natural resources and seek damages to restore those resources from responsible parties. Recovered damages are used to restore the injured natural resources and compensate the public.

environmental laws and policies pdf


Environmental law , principles, policies, directives, and regulations enacted and enforced by local, national, or international entities to regulate human treatment of the nonhuman world. During the late 20th century environmental law developed from a modest adjunct of the law of public health regulations into an almost universally recognized independent field protecting both human health and nonhuman nature. Throughout history national governments have passed occasional laws to protect human health from environmental contamination. In the 14th century England prohibited both the burning of coal in London and the disposal of waste into waterways.

Environmental policy

1.6 Environmental Policies & Practices

Environmental policy is the commitment of an organization or government to the laws, regulations, and other policy mechanisms concerning environmental issues. These issues generally include air and water pollution , waste management , ecosystem management , maintenance of biodiversity , the management of natural resources , wildlife and endangered species. This policy can be deliberately taken to influence human activities and thereby prevent undesirable effects on the biophysical environment and natural resources, as well as to make sure that changes in the environment do not have unacceptable effects on humans. One way is to describe environmental policy is that it comprises two major terms: environment and policy. Environment refers to the physical ecosystems, but can also take into consideration the social dimension quality of life, health and an economic dimension resource management, biodiversity.

In partnership with stakeholders, the law aims to adopt a systematic, comprehensive and ecological solid waste management program that shall ensure the protection of public health and environment. The law ensures proper segregation, collection, storage, treatment and disposal of solid waste through the formulation and adaptation of best eco-waste products. It provides for comprehensive and integrated strategy to prevent and minimize pollution through a multi-sectoral and participatory approach involving all the stakeholders. The law aims to achieve and maintain clean air that meets the National Air Quality guideline values for criteria pollutants, throughout the Philippines, while minimizing the possible associated impacts to the economy. The law aims to regulate restrict or prohibit the importation, manufacture, processing, sale, distribution, use and disposal of chemical substances and mixtures the present unreasonable risk to human health. It likewise prohibits the entry, even in transit, of hazardous and nuclear wastes and their disposal into the Philippine territorial limits for whatever purpose; and to provide advancement and facilitate research and studies on toxic chemicals.


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