11.021J / 1.801J / 17.393J / 1.811J, 11.630J, ESD.133J)
Introduction to important issues in contemporary environmental law, policy, and economics. Discusses the roles and interactions of Congress, federal agencies, state governments, and the courts in dealing with environmental problems. Topics include common law, administrative law, environmental impact assessments required by the National Environmental Policy Act, and legislation and court decisions dealing with air pollution, water pollution, the control of hazardous waste, pollution and accident prevention, community right-to-know, and environmental justice. Explores the role of science and economics in legal decisions, and economic incentives as an alternative or supplement to regulation. Analyzes pollution as an economic problem and a failure of markets. Introduction to basic legal skills: how to read and understand cases, regulation, and statutes; how to discover the current state of the law in a specific area; and how to take action toward resolution of environmental problems.Students taking the graduate version are expected to explore the subject in greater depth.