Concern over the effects of pollution on public health has been a major factor shaping the development of environmental law. Prior to the rise of the regulatory state, courts used the common law of public and private nuisance to umpire disputes over air and water pollution. Beginning in the 1970s, the United States largely centralized environmental regulation in the federal government after years of effort to prod states to act proved unsuccessful. Today, a plethora of federal environmental statutes establish comprehensive regulatory programs to protect public health from exposure to pollution. The laws generally require federal agencies to set minimum national standards that can be implemented and enforced by state authorities under delegated authority. Environmental impact assessment requirements are the most widely adopted provisions of environmental law around the world. These laws require assessment and consideration of potential environmental effects of major actions likely to significantly affect the environment before they are approved. But environmental law now extends far beyond environmental assessment. The laws also direct expert agencies to set standards to limit emissions of pollution, to ensure that hazardous wastes are managed safely, to regulate chemical use, and to protect endangered species. Environmental laws employ a variety of approaches for determining how stringently to regulate. These include technology-based standards, health-based regulation, and approaches that balance risks and benefits. In recent years, more emphasis has been placed on informational regulation that requires disclosure of potential hazards to consumers and members of the general public. In many countries, the environmental laws require agencies to solicit public input when they develop regulations. These laws provide for judicial review of agency actions and authorize citizen suits to ensure that the laws are implemented and enforced. As countries increasingly borrow regulatory innovations from one another, traditional distinctions between domestic and international law are beginning to blur. The growing importance of nonstate actors in influencing the development of global environmental law and policy also is blurring traditional distinctions between private and public law.
Environmental law is a rapidly growing field that is increasing in complexity as it extends its reach around the globe. Because the field has become so vast, most practitioners specialize in particular aspects of the field. The following is an annotated list of the leading journals, casebooks, and websites that cover this enormous field and report on new developments in law and regulatory policy. Because the environmental law field has been developing so rapidly, journals increasingly are publishing materials online and casebooks are using websites to provide updates on new developments. Transnational Environmental Law has quickly become the most respected peer-reviewed environmental law journal that focuses on the global dimensions of the field. The three top student-edited specialty environmental law reviews are Ecology Law Quarterly, the Harvard Environmental Law Review, and Environmental Law. The Environmental Law Reporter: News and Analysis is a highly respected journal that is widely read by practitioners of environmental law. EcoAméricas provides timely coverage of recent developments in environmental law and policy in Central and South America. The two leading casebooks on environmental law in the United States (Percival, et al. 2013 and Plater, et al. 2016) are both published by Wolters Kluwer. Hunter, et al. 2015 is the leading casebook on international environmental law. The leading environmental law blogs are Legal Planet and Environmental Law Prof Blog. The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law website has valuable material on developments in environmental law around the world through its E-Journal and useful bibliographies in its Essential Readings in Environmental Law.
Published monthly by Fourth Street Press of Beverly, Massachusetts; covers developments in environmental law and policy in Central and South America. Articles include detailed resource and contact information, and subscribers receive a separate guide annually that contains contact information for key environmental NGOs and government officials in the region. Further information is available at the publication’s website.
Ecology Law Quarterly. 1971–.
One of the most respected environmental law journals in the United States, this publication is edited by law students from the University of California at Berkeley. The journal, which is published four times per year, also maintains an online journal called Currents that publishes articles of contemporary interest.
Environmental Law. 1969–.
This is the oldest law review in the United States that specializes in environmental issues. It is published four times per year by law students from the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. Each year the publication also publishes an article that is the product of the law school’s annual National Resources Law Institute Distinguished Visitor lecture.
Although not as stylistically elegant as Legal Planet, this blog provides valuable perspectives on developments in environmental law from a diverse group of environmental law professors. It also includes discussion of issues that arise in the teaching of environmental law, including what books to recommend to prepare students for the study of environmental law.
Published monthly by the Environmental Law Institute, a nonpartisan environmental think tank in Washington, DC. It contains articles and updates on important developments in environmental law and policy. Widely read by practitioners of environmental law, it also provides a comprehensive list of significant recent environmental decisions by courts and actions by regulatory agencies.
Harvard Environmental Law Review. 1976–.
This journal, edited by law students from Harvard Law School, publishes two issues per year. It also hosts a website that is part of the Environmental Law Review Syndicate, a consortium of ten US environmental law reviews that selects one student article per week to be shared on the websites of all ten reviews.
Hunter, David, James E. Salzman, and Durwood Zaelke. 2015. International environmental law. 5th ed. St. Paul, MN: Foundation Press.
This is the most widely adopted casebook in the international law field. It provides comprehensive coverage of the field, examining how major environmental treaties have evolved, customary principles of international environmental law, and the role of diplomacy and nonstate actors in shaping the development and implementation of international norms.
A consortium of environmental law professors from more than 200 law schools in more than sixty countries, the Academy publishes an annual online journal with articles and reports on developments in environmental law and policy in several countries written by experts from each country. The Academy’s website, parts of which are available in four languages (English, Spanish, French and Chinese), also has sixty online bibliographies (“Essential Readings”) addressing various environmental topics.
The leading environmental law blog, Legal Planet publishes new material nearly every day. It is a joint venture of environmental law professors from the University of California at Berkeley and UCLA Law School, who frequently are joined by guest bloggers. The blog is particularly valuable for its coverage of legal and policy developments in California, the state with the most progressive climate policies in the United States.
Percival, Robert V., Christopher H. Schroeder, Alan S. Miller, and James P. Leape. 2013. Environmental regulation: Law, science & policy. 7th ed. New York: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
This has been the most widely adopted casebook on environmental law in US law schools. It is designed to be accessible to non-lawyers. After providing a structural overview of the field, the book covers risk regulation, waste management and remediation, control of air and water pollution, land use regulation and regulatory takings, environmental impact assessment, protection of biodiversity, environmental enforcement, and global environmental law. A casebook website that tracks new developments in the field is available online.
Plater, Zygmunt J. B., Robert H. Abrams, Robert Graham, Lisa Heinzerling, David Wirth, and Noah Hall. 2016. Environmental law & policy: Nature, law, and society. 5th ed. New York: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
This popular casebook is organized primarily on the basis of different legal strategies for protecting the environment. These include common law approaches, administrative law, disclosure statutes, planning requirements, harm-based regulation, technology-based regulation, market-enlisting strategies, and the public trust doctrine, among others.
Transnational Environmental Law. 2012–.
Published twice a year by Cambridge University Press, this is the first journal to focus specifically on the growing transnational dimensions of environmental law and policy. This peer-reviewed journal, edited by Professors Thijs Etty and Veerle Heyvaert, contains valuable articles, book reviews, and editorials, many of which examine how nonstate actors influence environmental law and policy. It is available both online and in print.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
- Access to Health Care
- Action Research
- Active Aging
- Active Living
- Adolescent Health, Socioeconomic Inequalities in
- Adolescent Risk-Taking Behavior in the United States
- Advocacy, Public Health
- Agricultural Safety and Public Health
- Air Quality: Health Effects
- Air Quality: Indoor Health Effects
- Alcohol Availability and Violence
- Alternative Research Designs
- Ambient Air Quality Standards and Guidelines
- American Perspectives on Chronic Disease and Control
- Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
- Asthma in Children
- Asthma, Work-Related
- Attachment as a Health Determinant
- Behavior Change Theory in Health Education and Promotion
- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance
- Bicycling and Cycling Safety
- Birth and Death Registration
- Birth Cohort Studies
- Board of Health
- Built Environment and Health, The
- Business and Corporate Practices
- Cancer Communication Strategies in North America
- Cancer Prevention
- Cancer Screening
- Capacity Building
- Capacity Building for NCDs in LMICs
- Capacity-Building for Applied Public Health in LMIC: A US ...
- Cardiovascular Health and Disease
- Child Maltreatment
- Children, Air Pollution and
- Children, Injury Risk-Taking Behaviors in
- Children, Obesity in
- Citizen Advisory Boards
- Climate Change and Human Health
- Climate Change: Institutional Response
- Clinical Preventive Medicine
- Community Air Pollution
- Community Development
- Community Gardens
- Community Health Assessment
- Community Health Interventions
- Community Partnerships and Coalitions
- Community-Based Participatory Research
- Complexity and Systems Theory
- Cultural Safety
- Culture and Public Health
- Definition of Health
- Dental Public Health
- Design and Health
- Dietary Guidelines
- Directions in Global Public Health Graduate Education
- Ecological Approaches
- Enabling Factors
- Environmental Health, Pediatric
- Environmental Laws
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Ethics of Public Health
- Evidence-Based Pediatric Dentistry
- Evidence-Based Public Health Practice
- Family Planning Services and Birth Control
- Food Safety
- Food Security and Food Banks
- Food Systems
- Frail Elderly
- Functional Literacy
- Genomics, Public Health
- Geographic Information Systems
- Geography and Health
- Global Health
- Global Health Diplomacy
- Global Health Promotion
- Guide to Community Preventive Services, The
- Health Administration
- Health Communication
- Health Disparities
- Health Education
- Health Impact Assessment
- Health in All Policies
- Health in All Policies in European Countries
- Health Literacy
- Health Literacy and Non-Communicable Diseases
- Health Measurement Scales
- Health Planning
- Health Promoting Hospitals
- Health Promotion
- Health Promotion Foundations
- Health Promotion Workforce Capacity
- Health Promotion Workforce Capacity
- Health Systems of Low and Middle-Income Countries, The
- Healthy People Initiative
- Healthy Public Policy
- Hepatitis C
- High Risk Prevention Strategies
- Human Rights, Health and
- IANPHI and National Public Health Institutes
- Immigrant Populations
- Immunization and Pneumococcal Infection
- Immunization in Pregnancy
- Indigenous Peoples, Public Health and
- Indigenous Populations of North America, Australasia, and ...
- Indoor Air Quality Guidelines
- Internet Applications in Promoting Health Behavior
- Intersectoral Strategies in Low - Middle Income Countries ...
- Justice, Social
- Knowledge Translation and Exchange
- Knowledge Utilization and Exchange
- Law of Public Health in the United States
- Media Advocacy
- Mental Health
- Mental Health Promotion
- Migrant Health
- Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention
- Multi-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
- National Association of Local Boards of Health
- National Public Health Institutions
- Needs Assessment
- Needs Assessments in International Disasters and Emergenci...
- Obesity Prevention
- Occupational Cancers
- Occupational Exposure to Benzene
- Occupational Exposure to Erionite
- Occupational Safety and Health
- Oral Health Equity for Minority Populations in the United ...
- Ottawa Charter
- Parenting and Work
- Parenting Skills and Capacity
- Participatory Action Research
- Patient Decision Making
- Pesticide Exposure and Pesticide Health Effects
- Physical Activity and Exercise
- Physical Activity Promotion
- Polio Eradication in Pakistan
- Population Aging
- Population Determinants of Unhealthy Foods and Beverages
- Population Health Objectives and Targets
- Precautionary Principle
- Prenatal Health
- Program Evaluation in American Health Education
- Program Planning and Evaluation
- Public Health, History of
- Public Health Surveillance
- Public-Private Partnerships in Public Health Research and ...
- Public-Private Partnerships to Prevent and Manage Obesity ...
- Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment
- Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies
- Randomized Controlled Trials
- Real World Evaluation Strategies
- Reducing Obesity-Related Health Disparities in Hispanic an...
- Research Integrity in Public Health
- Resilient Health Systems
- Rural Health in the United States
- Safety, Patient
- School Health Programs in the Pacific Region
- Sex Education in HIV/AIDS Prevention
- Skin Cancer Prevention
- Smoking Cessation
- Social Determinants of Health
- Social Epidemiology
- Social Marketing
- Statistics in Public Health
- STI Networks, Patterns, and Control Strategies
- Sustainable Development Goals
- Systems in the United States, Public Health
- Systems Modeling and Big Data for Non-Communicable Disease...
- Systems Theory in Public Health
- Traditional, Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative M...
- Translation of Science to Practice and Policy
- Traumatic Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Tuberculosis among Adults and the Determinants of Health
- UK Public Health Systems
- Unintentional Injury Prevention
- Urban Health
- Vaccine Hesitancy
- Violence Prevention
- Water Quality
- Water Quality and Water-Related Disease
- Weight Management in US Occupational Settings
- Welfare States, Public Health and Health Inequalities
- Worksite Health Promotion
- World Health Organization (WHO)