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Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: EU Law

Commission v Greece (‘Crete case II’) (Case C-387/97), EU:C:2000:356, [2000] ECR I-5092, 4 July 2000  

Essential Cases: EU Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Commission v Greece (‘Crete case II’) (Case C-387/97), EU:C:2000:356, [2000] ECR I-5092, 4 July 2000. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Noreen O'Meara.

Chapter

Cover Essential Cases: EU Law

Commission v Greece (‘Crete case II’) (Case C-387/97), EU:C:2000:356, [2000] ECR I-5092, 4 July 2000  

Essential Cases: EU Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Commission v Greece (‘Crete case II’) (Case C-387/97), EU:C:2000:356, [2000] ECR I-5092, 4 July 2000. The document also includes supporting commentary from author Noreen O’Meara.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

13. Pollution Control Permitting  

This chapter provides a basic overview of pollution control in England and Wales. It considers the nature of pollution, the evolving history of pollution control regulation, and the main mechanism for implementing pollution control—environmental permitting. Environmental permitting is a classic form of ‘command-and-control’ regulation, which is used in many areas of environmental regulation (water regulation, waste regulation, integrated pollution control etc). Moreover, England and Wales has adopted an innovative approach to permitting, bringing together many different types of environmental permits into a single, integrated scheme under the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2016. This administrative integration of permitting was designed to improve regulatory efficiency and certainty for operators and also to better coordinate environmental controls. This chapter provides an overview of this permitting scheme, which operates in most of the pollution control regimes covered in the chapters of Part IV.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

16. Contaminated land  

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes

This chapter considers the set of laws introduced to address the patchy nature of pre-existing regimes. Although its focus is relatively narrow—that is, on the regulation of the clean-up of historically contaminated land—it is always important to bear in mind that the basic building blocks of statutory liability for cleaning up pollution can often be found in subject-specific legislation. The focus on the clean-up of contamination caused by historical sources presents a number of significant challenges, such as when should clean-up be required, to what level, and for what purposes. The most significant of all of these issues, however, is the identification of the party, or parties, responsible for paying the consequences of historic pollution.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

15. Water Pollution  

This chapter critically examines English, as well as selected European Union, laws that regulate the interlinked environmental challenges of protecting the quality and quantity of water courses. It deals with legal rules seeking to prevent and limit the pollution of rivers and other inland surface waters, such as lakes, as well as coastal areas and groundwater. One of the key challenges for water pollution law is to evolve into a more holistic, coherent, and integrated pollution control regime. In discussing this challenge, the chapter refers to and critiques recent interesting attempts to develop environmental policy discourses of bioregionalism and ecofederalism, that is, attempts to map regulatory space onto ‘natural’ spaces.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

14. Environmental permitting and integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC)  

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes

This chapter deals with the latest in a long series of attempts to streamline or integrate various industrial pollution control systems—a regime that began by bringing together integrated pollution prevention and control and waste management licensing but which now extends to water and groundwater discharge permits and controls on radioactive substances. The environmental permitting regime provides a broad, largely procedural, framework within which the substantive provisions of various European Directives are implemented across a range of industrial installations and waste management facilities. As such, it introduces few general changes of substance, merely reflecting, as many integrative measures have done, structural and administrative changes, and a reordering of what was already there.

Chapter

Cover International Law

22. International Environmental Law  

Catherine Redgwell

The development of international environmental law is typically divided into three periods. The first demonstrates little genuine environmental awareness but rather views environmental benefits as incidental to largely economic concerns such as the exploitation of living natural resources. The second demonstrates a significant rise in the number of treaties directed to pollution abatement and to species and habitat conservation. Here an overt environmental focus is evident, yet the approach is still largely reactive and piecemeal. The final phase, which characterizes current international environmental law, demonstrates a precautionary approach to environmental problems of global magnitude such as biodiversity conservation and climate change. Concern transcends individual States, with certain global problems now considered the common concern of humankind. This chapter defines international environmental law, its key sources and actors, and difficulties of enforcement, before embarking on a sectoral examination of the extensive treaty law applicable in this field.

Chapter

Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment

9. Prevention of Marine Pollution  

This chapter focuses on threats of pollution to the health of the marine environment. It focuses in particular on marine pollution. The oceans constitute a large expanse of common space. The oceans have been freely used for maritime commerce, exploitation of living resources, extraction of oil and gas, and as a disposal area for waste products for centuries. The law needs to protect marine ecosystems as much as any others on land. Climate change has now begun to harm marine ecosystems and international law needs to consider this. The chapter aims to demonstrate the extent to which an international legal regime for the control of marine pollution from ships has developed since 1972, and the degree to which it has proved effective. The big question is: how can it be made more effective in the future?

Book

Cover Environmental Law

Elizabeth Fisher, Bettina Lange, and Eloise Scotford

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. Environmental Law: Text, Cases & Materials provides students with a deep understanding of environmental law while also encouraging critical reflection of legal reasoning and pointing out areas of controversy and debate. The authors present a wide range of extracts from UK, EU, and international cases, legislation, and articles to help support learning and demonstrate both how the law works in practice and how it should or could work, clearly guiding students through key areas while providing insightful explanations and analysis. Topics have been carefully selected to support a wide range of environmental law courses, within law school and beyond. These include pollution control, nature conservation, climate change regulation, town planning, and water regulation, all incorporating aspects of law from local, UK, EU and international legal cultures. With its unique combination of extracts and author discussion, this new edition provides a wide-ranging, stimulating, and fresh approach to environmental law, which can be relied upon throughout your course and career. This book is also accompanied by an Online Resource Centre that features updates to the law, further reading suggestions, and useful weblinks.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

15. Climate change, ozone depletion, and air quality  

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes

This chapter deals with legal controls to address global climate change, ozone depletion, and air quality, the complexity of which problems means that many different types of approaches are necessary across a wide range of activities. This can be a little daunting at first because many issues overlap. In each of these areas, there are laws at international, European, and national levels that need to be considered. It makes sense, however, to first consider some general issues and also the international response to various forms of air and atmospheric pollution. The range of problems affecting the atmosphere stretches across the full range of human activities, from highly toxic fumes emitted from a complicated industrial process, to such seemingly mundane activities as lighting a fire, driving a car, or using spray-on deodorant. Air pollutants come in many forms, and the main ones will be discussed in the chapter.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

17. Water pollution and water quality  

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes

This chapter is concerned with the quality of the water environment. Considering that there are well-developed bodies of law at national, European, and international levels, all covering different ground, this is a major topic. The focus here, however, is on the control of pollution of inland and coastal waters; wider issues about water resource management, such as land drainage or flood defence, are not covered in any detail. The various forms of water pollutants are discussed here, as are as their sources and effects. The abstraction of water from the natural environment is only discussed in so far as this has an impact on water quality.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

2. History and challenges  

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes

This chapter broadly considers the origins and evolution of environmental law and policy. It then moves on to look at some of the key challenges for the future, and at possible trends in environmental law and in the costs of complying—and not complying—with environmental law. Environmental controls have a long history, going back to medieval statutes on small-scale pollution and the development of private law principles to deal with threats to property and communal assets such as water. Of course, until recently, few would have thought of these laws as part of something called ‘environmental law’ because their main focus was on the protection of private and common property. The adequacy of private law, in particular, fell far short of an effective protection regime, even for affected individuals.

Book

Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment
Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment places legislation on the protection of the environment firmly at the core of its argument. It uses sharp and thorough analysis of the law, sharing knowledge and experience. The chapters provide a unique perspective on the implications of international regulation, promoting a wide understanding of the pertinent issues impacting upon the law. The text starts by looking at international law and the environment. It looks at the rights and obligations of states concerning the protection of the environment. The text also considers interstate enforcement which includes state responsibility, compliance, and dispute settlement. It moves on to consider non-state actors such as environmental rights, liability, and crimes. Climate change and atmospheric pollution are given some consideration. The text also examines the law of the sea and protection of the marine environment. Conservation is dealt with in detail, including the conservation of nature, ecosystems, and biodiversity and marine living resources. Finally, the text looks at international trade.

Chapter

Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment

1. International Law and the Environment  

This chapter provides an overview of the purpose of this book. It starts by saying what the book does not expect to do. The text does not intend to answer the question whether the law we have now serves the needs of environmental justice or fairness among nations, generations, or peoples. It does, however, attempt to show, inter alia, how international law has developed a framework for cooperation on environmental matters between developed and developing states; for the adoption of measures aimed at control of pollution and conservation and sustainable use of natural resources; for the resolution of international environmental disputes; for the promotion of greater transparency and public participation in environmental decision-making; and for the adoption and harmonization of national environmental law.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

7. The regulation of environmental protection  

Stuart Bell, Donald McGillivray, Ole W. Pedersen, Emma Lees, and Elen Stokes

This chapter introduces the system of environmental regulation by building upon Ch. 4, which examined the sources of environmental law. In practice, environmental regulation involves more than the use of legal rules that forbid pollution and other forms of environmental harm. ‘Regulation’ is used to describe a wide range of different tools used in both legal and non-legal contexts—for example, it covers mandatory rules contained in environmental legislation, as well as non-binding environmental standards. The chapter outlines some of the reasons for regulating to protect the environment, before explaining how such regulation is introduced, applied, enforced, and reviewed. It examines the characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses of different approaches to standard-setting and the various instruments used to regulate potentially environmentally damaging activities. The chapter discusses several trends in modern environmental regulation, including the policy emphasis on deregulation and the use of information disclosure as a means of governing group or individual behaviour.

Chapter

Cover International Law

19. The protection of the environment  

This chapter studies the development of international environmental law. A significant proportion of international environmental law obligations is contained in treaties, which often provide for institutional mechanisms or procedural obligations for their implementation. There exists a dense network of treaty obligations relating to environmental protection, and to specific sectors such as climate change, the conservation of endangered species, or the handling of toxic materials. Indeed, though customary international law knows of no general legal obligation to protect and preserve the environment, certain customary rules nevertheless have been found in specific treaties, case law, and occasionally even soft law instruments. The most significant such rule is the principles of prevention, often taking the form of the ‘good neighbour’ principle. States are required to exercise due diligence in preventing their territory from being used in such a way so as to cause significant damage to the environment of another state.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

14. Integrated Pollution Control  

This chapter focuses on Integrated Pollution Control (IPC), a form of environmental regulation that was developed in the EU in the early 1990s. IPC takes a holistic view of the environment, acknowledging that ecosystems draw on interconnected and interdependent elements of the living and non-living environment. The chapter critically assesses the incorporation of holistic understandings of the natural environment into environmental law. First, it traces the elusive policy idea of holistic environmental regulation and decision-making, and draws attention to the early emergence of ideas of integrated pollution control in Victorian environmental law in Britain. Second, the chapter maps the application of holistic understandings of the natural environment through IPC regimes in both the EU and the UK, in particular the EU Directive on Industrial Emissions and its implementation through the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.

Chapter

Cover Environmental Law

17. Air Quality Law  

This chapter examines legal regimes relating to air quality, considering developments at the international, EU, UK and local levels. International and EU law is particularly important in this regulatory sphere since air pollution is a transboundary issue. There is also increasing public concern about air quality, which is reflected in high profile public interest litigation being brought against the UK government to ensure lawful levels of air quality are being met, or at least properly planned for. There are also implementation and coordination problems that make compliance with air quality law a considerable challenge. Regulating air quality ultimately requires coordinating the actions and efforts of actors in many industries, sectors, and geographical areas. At present, not all of those actors are within the scope of UK air quality law.