The Common Law and the Environment: Rethinking the Statutory Basis for Modern Environmental Law

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Roger E. Meiners, Andrew P. Morriss
Rowman & Littlefield, 2000 - Law - 279 pages
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Since 1970, when the Clean Air Act was passed and the Environmental Protection Agency was created, the primary means for addressing environmental problems in the U.S. has been through comprehensive federal statutes and detailed regulations. Evaluating almost three decades of experience with the Clean Air Act, Superfund, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and other major federal environmental statutes, the contributors to this volume question the effectiveness and impact of the legal regime that created these regulations. While most studies of environmental policy paint a picture of improvement through government initiatives, these essays argue the contrary. Pointing to Cleveland's burning river, the death of Lake Erie, smog in Los Angeles, and Love Canal, the contributors demonstrate that command-and-control regulation of the environment has not delivered the great improvements in environmental quality as promised. The Common Law and the Environment offers principles for a new approach to protecting the environment and looks to evidence of the successes of alternative legal systems to address significant problems.
 

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Contents

Protecting the Environment in the Spirit of the Common Law
3
The Environment under the Common Law
25
Empirical Evidence Regarding the Role of Nationalization in Improving US Air Quality
27
Burning Rivers Common Law and Institutional Choice for Water Quality
54
Protecting English and Welsh Rivers The Role of the Anglers Conservation Association
86
The Institutions of the Common Law
107
The Institution of Property
109
Lessons for Environmental Law from the American Codification Debate
130
Federalism and the Environment
158
Perspectives on the Shift away from the Common Law
183
Industry and Environmental Lobbyists Enemies or Allies?
185
On the Commons and the Common Law
211
On Being Regulated in Foresight versus Being Judged in Hindsight
242
Index
265
About the Political Economy Forum and the Authors
275
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Roger E. Meiners is professor of law and economics at the University of Texas and a senior associate with PERC in Bozeman, Montana. Andrew P. Morriss is professor of law and and associate professor of economics at Case Western Reserve University and senior associate with PERC in Bozeman, Montana.

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