Paralegals: Niche Practice in Environmental Law


Environmental law is a general term that is used to refer to the National Environmental Policy Act. It was passed by the United States government along with another environmental act called the Environmental Quality Improvement Act. These laws were imposed to prevent public and private actions from causing damage to the environment.

The National Environmental Policy Act was established for the purpose of making assessments and forming policies that can promote environmental protection. It raises awareness of the various dangers that threaten the environment and eco-system, and provides a means for eliminating such dangers. The laws and objectives that are imposed through the National Environmental Policy Act serve to ensure that minimal harm will be done to the environment.

The environmental law of the United States consists of many different federal environmental statutes. These statutes serve to protect different aspects of the environment, and they include The National Environmental Policy Act; The Clean Water Act; The Clean Air Act; The Toxic Substances Control Act; The Pollution Prevention Act; The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act; The Occupational Safety and Health Act; and The Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act.

The numerous statutes and regulations that make up the environmental law have a common mission, which is to reduce environmental threats and improve the health and awareness of the American public. They may be complicated to people who are not familiar with this, but they all serve a very important purpose. The US government has enough laws and regulations to cover every issue that can potentially cause damage to the environment.

The imposition of environmental law is divided into three processes. First of all, a statute has to pass through the Congress. Then, the Environmental Protection Agency will create a list of regulations in relation to that statute. Lastly, the federal courts will provide legal interpretation of the regulations when an environmental issue arises.

Before the National Environmental Policy Act was enacted in 1970, there were already studies suggesting that the environment was deteriorating at an alarming rate. However, the mechanisms that are needed to address environmental problems were not available back then. Environmental issues worsened in the following years, and the public was starting to realize the consequences of failure to resolve those issues. It became clear to the government that it had to take measures to protect the environment, and such measures came in the form of imposition of environmental laws.

Since it was introduced, environmental law has contributed greatly to the protection of the environment and the improvement of public health. However, there is still a lot of work to be done. As the nation becomes more technologically advanced, it has to deal with more complex pollutants that threaten its eco-system, and new health hazards that emerge as a result of those pollutants. Therefore, the environmental law has to be amended and improved from time to time to ensure that current environmental and health threats will be adequately prevented, controlled, and eliminated.


1 comment:

Cynthia A. Denny said...

I wrote a 12 page report on the future of environmental lawt a few years ago for the San Francisco Paralegal Association newsletter. It also got published in the CAPA- Santa Clara County. Happy to send it to anyone who's interested

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