All Environmental Law Consists of Statutes and Regulations
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| Jan 25, 2022
Liability under CERCLA is joint and several liability, which means that each of the defendants, once identified in a group of defendants, can be held liable for the full cost of the adjustment. Although defendants are allowed to present evidence that they are responsible for only a portion of the environmental damage, the mixing of chemicals in landfills makes such a defense difficult to prove. Defendants may also seek reimbursement from co-defendants who were primarily responsible for a hazardous landfill, but such relief is unsuccessful if a co-defendant responsible has disappeared or filed for bankruptcy. For example, wealthy landowners often have to bear the cost of cleaning up CERCLA. At least 10 major federal laws deal with environmental protection and the health and safety of U.S. citizens. This is in addition to the multitude of other federal environmental laws, rules and regulations. There are also dozens of environmental laws enacted by the state and local government. Below is a summary of the most important federal environmental laws.
The Clean Air Act was passed in 1970 and contains detailed provisions that regulate air emissions from a variety of sources. Compliance with the law, like most other federal environmental laws, is the responsibility of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In this regard, the EPA has been empowered by law to create National Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) that set acceptable emission levels from stationary and mobile sources. Even an innocent mistake that violates a major federal environmental law can have devastating effects on small businesses. If you need help identifying environmental laws that are relevant to your business – and how to comply with them – you should speak to a business and commercial lawyer for assistance. State laws reflect similar concerns that allow aggrieved homeowners to appeal against environmental damage. While state-level laws vary from state to state, many of them reflect federal laws. Chemical Manufacturing Ordinance The manufacture of chemicals is federally regulated by the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) (15 U.S.C.A. 2601 et seq.).
The TSCA is based on three strategic considerations. First, industry has the primary responsibility for determining the environmental impact of the chemicals it produces. Second, the government should have the power to prevent unreasonable risks of environmental damage, particularly immediate risks. Third, the government should not exercise this power in a way that creates undue economic barriers to technological innovation. As in most environmental laws, the relative weights given to each value are weighed against each other. In 1970, Congress passed OSHA in response to growing workplace safety shortages. OSHA`s primary goal is to require employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees. While some OSHA requirements do not have a direct impact on the environment (for example. B safety requirements for workers on elevated sites), other regulations deal specifically with environmental issues (e.B. the use of toxic or dangerous substances in the workplace). After the Torrey Canyon supertanker spilled crude oil off the coast of England in 1967, Congress in the Port and Waterways Safety Act of 1972 (PWSA) and Washington state issued stricter regulations for tankers and provided more comprehensive remedies in the event of an oil spill.
The resulting issue of federal PREEMPTION of state laws was addressed in Ray v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 435 U.S. 151. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez supertanker ran aground in Alaska, causing the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Again, Congress and Washington reacted. Congress passed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA). The state created a new agency and asked it to set standards to ensure “best possible protection” (BAP) against damage caused by oil spills.
That agency announced the design, equipment, reporting, and operational requirements of the tankers, and gave Washington State stricter standards than those required by federal law. In United States v. Locke, 120 pp. Ct. 1135 (2000), the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down a Washington State Tanker Act and ruled that the state`s safety and environmental standards were anticipated by the comprehensive federal regulatory system for tankers. Even where appropriate common law remedy was available, many state courts refused to ban pollution from large corporations for fear that polluters would harm the local economy by laying off employees or raising prices. Although some states have passed environmental protection laws, many have not. States that adopted such laws differed in the level of protection and the quality of enforcement. Thus, an activity could be considered inadmissible under the environmental law of one State, but authorized under the law of another State. Federal standards for air, water and soil pollution, as well as national regulations for the protection of wildlife and wildlife, were developed largely in response to these problems. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, hit by pollution, caught fire.
While this isn`t the first time this has happened in an era of social change, alarming images of a burning waterway have caught the nation`s attention, leading to the passage of the first U.S. environmental protection laws. Examples of federal laws protecting our air, water and lands include the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. These national thresholds allow state governments and their subdivisions to adopt stricter air pollution regulations than those adopted by the federal government, but no less stringent. Fourth, the bill creates the multi-billion dollar Hazardous Substances Trust Fund to pay for removal and remediation measures. .