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Environmental Law

3 Credits

This course is a part of:
Certificate Program
Associate's Degree Program
Bachelor's Degree Program

This course introduces the student to the study of environmental law, with emphasis on the role of the paralegal in this field. It surveys major environmental acts in the United States, such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and other legislation. The course also presents an overview of the treatment of issues concerning the environment from a legal perspective.

Course Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify sources of environmental law and the legal foundations of environmental law
  • Explain the litigation process, including the concept of standing
  • Describe the history of the development of environmental law and the concept of environmental justice
  • Apply management principles to environmental law
  • Define the relationship of Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to environmental law
  • Explain the differences between the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental laws
  • Identify the nature of waters covered by the Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Define “pollutant” from a legal standpoint
  • Explain the procedures for the CWA permit system
  • Describe the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
  • Define technology-based standards applicable under federal environmental law
  • Describe and research the major provisions of the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
  • Describe and research the technology standards applicable to the Clean Air Act (CAA)
  • Describe the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) Permit Program and an Operating Permit Program
  • Define, from a legal standpoint, terms such as solid waste, hazardous waste, and cradle-to-grave
  • Describe the four characteristics of hazardous waste
  • Define generators, transporters, and Treatment, Storage, and Disposal (TSD) facilities and explain the requirements imposed on them
  • Describe important environmental law terms such as Superfund, hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants, release and remediation
  • Describe of the National Contingency Plan (NCP)
  • Describe the key elements of the Toxic Substances and Control Act (TSCA) inventory and chemical identity
  • Explain the difference between new chemicals and existing chemicals and the importance of that distinction
  • Define significant new uses
  • Describe the history of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and how it differs from other federal environmental acts
  • List and describe the substances covered by FIFRA
  • Explain how the focus of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) differs from that of other environmental acts
  • Describe the importance of the emergency planning component of EPCRA
  • Explain what an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is
  • Describe the composition of SEPC and LEPC committees
  • Define and Explain the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Reporting requirements
  • Describe the types of laws that are considered natural resources laws