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Environmental Health Law: An Introduction

ISBN: 978-1-118-41944-1
384 pages
December 2013, Jossey-Bass
Environmental Health Law: An Introduction (1118419448) cover image

Description

This important resource offers a comprehensive overview of the major U.S. environmental laws and approaches, strategies, standards, and enforcement techniques by which American law protects our environment and our health. Written for the non-lawyer, the book puts the spotlight on general concepts that go a long way to demystify the American legal system (what law consists of, who makes it, how it is made, and how it is enforced). The authors also introduce the major environmental laws and evaluate issues, controversies and developments in environmental policy.

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Table of Contents

List of Text Boxes, Figures, and Tables ix

Preface xiii

The Authors xvii

Chapter 1 Overview of the US Legal System 1

The Structure of American Government 2

Separation of Powers: Federal and State 3

Sources of American Law 9

Chapter 2 Transparency and Accountability in the Executive Branch: Judicial Review and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 23

Judicial Review 24

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 29

Chapter 3 Clean Air Act (CAA) 41

Background 42

Introduction to the Clean Air Act 43

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) 44

Regulating Emissions 48

Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) 58

Enforcement 65

Mobile Source Controls 66

Acid Rain Program 68

Cross-Border Air Pollution 71

Greenhouse Gases 72

Chapter 4 Clean Water Act (CWA) 77

Scope and Basics 79

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) 81

Technology-Based Effluent Standards 83

Beyond Technology-Based Standards: Water Quality Safety Net 90

Enforcement 92

Pretreatment Program for Indirect Dischargers 96

Discharges of Fill and Dredged Materials 98

Chapter 5 Safe DrinkingWater Act (SDWA) 107

Who Is Regulated: Public Water Systems 109

What Contaminants Are Regulated? 110

National Drinking Water Regulations 112

Keeping Consumers Informed 116

A Closer Look at Public Water Systems 117

Source Water 120

Enforcement 124

Chapter 6 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or “Superfund Act”) 131

Overview and Definitions 133

Reporting Releases of Hazardous Substances 136

Responding to a Release of Hazardous Substances 136

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry 142

The Superfund 145

Liability 146

Brownfields 152

Chapter 7 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 157

What Is a Hazardous Waste? 159

Cradle-to-Grave Regulation 163

Waste Minimization 172

Enforcement 172

Underground Storage Tanks 173

Chapter 8 Oil Pollution Act (OPA) 179

Overview 180

Spill Prevention 181

Spill Response 182

Liability and Penalties 186

Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund 189

Chapter 9 Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) 193

Overview 194

Emergency Planning Provisions 196

Data Reporting 197

Toxic Release Inventory 198

Chapter 10 Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) 203

Background 205

What Are Employers’ Duties? 208

Health Standards 209

Setting Health Standards: Consensus, Permanent,

Emergency Temporary 210

Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) 214

Records and Reporting 218

Monitoring and Enforcement 219

Chapter 11 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) 225

Scope and Implementation 226

New Chemicals Program 228

Existing Chemicals 233

Significant New Use 235

Chapter 12 Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) 241

Background 242

Pesticide Registration Program 245

Removing Pesticides from the Market 250

Regulation of Pesticide Use 253

Nearly Exclusive Federal Control 255

Chapter 13 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) 261

Purpose and Programs 262

Foods 263

Drugs and Medical Devices 266

Dietary Supplements 271

Tobacco 275

Chapter 14 Common Law: Toxic Torts 285

Tort Law: An Overview 286

Toxic Torts 293

Causes of Action 293

Causation Problems in Toxic Tort Litigation 301

Scientific Evidence 303

Scientific Evidence in the Courtroom 307

Mass Litigation 309

Pushing the Envelope 310

Glossary 315

Acronyms 331

Resources and Additional Reading 335

Index 339

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Author Information

Russellyn S. Carruth, JD, has developed and taught courses on environmental law to both law and public health students at the New Jersey Graduate Program of Public Health and at the University of Pittsburgh. Previously, she was in private law practice in Anchorage Alaska.

Bernard D. Goldstein, MD, is professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Health and former dean of the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh. He served as assistant administrator of the EPA and was the founding director of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute of Rutgers University.

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