Litigation, Environmental

Environmental litigation—the filing of lawsuits to protect the environment or to prevent or remove pollution, or countersuits to defend against environmental legal actions—has grown enormously in the United States since the 1970s. The legal basis for these suits has been a complex, growing web of federal and state statutes, which have also created environmental regulatory agencies to develop policy rules and regulations for implementing environmental public policy.

Environmental regulatory agencies, in fulfilling their legislative mandates, have developed a vast number of environmental regulations that are now part of administrative law. Their administrative rules and regulations are quasi-legislative and are usually enforced by the environmental agencies, which also have quasi-judicial powers. The net effect is that polluters can be fined or imprisoned for violating bureaucratic rules as ...

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