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Environmental Science and Policy

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Environmental Science and Policy Chapter 15 Outline: Decision Making Environmental Policy Cycle NEPA and EIS Environmental Law Statutory Law Case Law Administrative ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Environmental Science and Policy


1
Environmental Science and Policy
  • Chapter 15

2
(No Transcript)
3
Outline
  • Decision Making
  • Environmental Policy Cycle
  • NEPA and EIS
  • Environmental Law
  • Statutory Law
  • Case Law
  • Administrative Law
  • International Treaties
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Collective Action

4
DECISIONS IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD
  • Adaptive Management
  • A solutions approach designed to test clearly
    formulated hypotheses about the actions being
    taken.
  • Learning by doing or adaptive Management ,adopted
    by natural resource managers
  • Polices are designed at the outset to utilize
    scientific principles to examine alternative and
    assess outcomes.

5
Wicked Problems
  • Environmental problems tend to be intractable
    because they are nested within sets of
    interlocking issues.
  • Often poor match between bearers of costs and
    bearers of benefits.
  • No value-free objective answers.
  • Best approach comes from community based planning
    often consensus building.

6
Precautionary Principle
  • Four basic precautionary actions.
  • People have a duty to take anticipatory steps to
    prevent harm.
  • Burden of proof of carelessness lies within new
    technologies,process, activity and not the
    public.
  • Full range of alternatives must be examined by
    people before using a new technology.
  • Decision must be open, informed, democratic
    must include all affected parties.

7
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
  • Broad Goals
  • Improve understanding among the general public of
    natural and built environments and the
    relationships between human and their
    environment.
  • Encourage postsecondary students to pursue
    environmental careers.
  • Environ. Science is highly interdisciplinary and
    integrates information from many fields of study,
    how the world works and how we should behave as
    environ citizens.

8
ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
  • Environmental Policy - Official rules and
    regulations concerning the environment that are
    adopted, implemented, and enforced by a
    governmental agency.
  • National Policy e.g Clean Air Act.
  • The international Policy e.g Convention on
    International Trade in Endangered species.
  • Also encompasses public opinion.

9
Environmental Policy
10
The Policy Cycle
11
Political Decision Making
  • Politics as Power
  • Politics is a struggle among competing interest
    groups as they strive to shape public policy to
    suit their own agendas.
  • Rational Choice
  • No policy should have greater total cost than
    benefits
  • In choosing between policy alternatives,
    preference should be given to those with the
    greatest cumulative welfare and the least
    negative impacts.

12
Arguments Against Rational Choice
  • Conflicting values and needs are not comparable
    due to lack of information
  • Few agreed-upon broad social goals (rather
    benefits on specific group or individual)
  • Policymakers not motivated by societal goals.
  • Large investments create sunken costs
  • Uncertainty drives policy makers toward past.
  • Costs and benefits difficult to calculate.
  • Segmented nature of policy making in large
    bureaucracies makes policy making difficult.

13
NEPA
  • National Environmental Policy Act (1970) signed
    by President Nixon
  • Authorizes Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
    as the oversight board for general environ
    conditions.
  • Directs federal agencies to take environmental
    consequences into account during decision making.
  • Requires an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
    for every federal project having significant
    environmental impact on quality of human
    environment.

14
EIS (Enviromment Impact Statement)
  • ESI is one of the most powerful tool in the
    environment arsenal
  • Every EIS must contain
  • Purpose and need for project.
  • Alternative to proposed action.
  • Statement of positive and negative impacts of the
    proposed activities.
  • A final ESI document is often 100s of pages and
    takes approx 6-9 months to prepare.

15
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
  • Laws that govern environmental quality, natural
    resources ecological sustainibility.
  • Statutory Law The Legislative Branch
  • Federal laws (statutes) are enacted by Congress
    and signed by the President.
  • After introduction, each bill is referred to a
    committee or sub-committee for hearings and
    debate.
  • Language is modified, multiple bills may be
    combined, and overall bill is passed on to full
    committee.

16
Legislative Branch
  • A bill succeeding in full committee is reported
    to full House or Senate for a floor debate.
  • Amendments proposed at each stage.
  • House and Senate versions are often different,
    and must be sent to conference committee to meld
    differences.
  • Bill goes back to House and Senate for
    confirmation.
  • Passed on to President for signature.

17
Case law The Judicial Branch
  • Establishes environmental law by ruling on
    constitutionality of statutes and interpreting
    their meaning.
  • Legal Standing First one must determined if
    participants have a right to initiate an action.

18
The Judicial Branch
  • Criminal Law - Derives from federal and state
    statutes that prohibit wrongs against the state
    or society.
  • Charges always initiated by a government
    prosecutor.
  • Guilt or innocence of defendant determined by a
    jury of peers.
  • Violation of environmental statutes constitutes a
    criminal offense

19
The Judicial Branch
  • Civil Law - Defined by a body of laws regulating
    relations between individuals or corporations.
  • Burden of proof lies with prosecution.
  • Guilt or innocence based on whether the defendant
    could reasonably have anticipated and avoided the
    offense.

20
SLAPP
  • Strategic Lawsuits Against Political
    Participation - Practice of suing citizens who
    criticize businesses or government agencies over
    environmental issues.
  • Legal defense costs can be exorbitant.

21
Administrative Law The Executive Branch
  • More than 100 federal agencies have environmental
    oversight.
  • Federal agencies often delegate power to a
    matching state agency to decentralize authority.
  • They usually have power to set rules,adjudicates
    disputes investigate misconduct.

22
The Executive Branch
23
Regulatory Agencies
  • EPA - Primary agency with responsibility for
    protecting environmental quality in US
  • Cabinet-level department.
  • Department of Interior (Natural Resources)
  • National Park Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service

24
Regulatory Agencies
  • Department of Agriculture
  • US Forest Service
  • Department of Labor
  • Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA)
  • Revolving door with workers moving back and forth
    between industry and government.

25
INTERNATIONAL TREATIES AND CONVENTIONS
  • Over past 25 years, more than 170 environmental
    treaties and conventions have been negotiated
    initiated to protect our global environment.
  • Unfortunately many of these environmental
    treaties are vague and many do not comply due to
    public embarassment.
  • Most nations unwilling to give up sovereignty.
  • International court has no enforcement powers.

26
DISPUTE RESOLUTION
  • Arbitration is a formal dispute resolution, based
    in a trial-like setting.
  • Arbitrator takes a more active role than a judge
    and is more interested in resolving the disputes
    than application of the law.

27
Mediation
  • Mediation is a process in which disputants are
    encouraged to come up with a solution on their
    own.
  • Useful in complex issues with multiple
    stakeholders with different interests.

28
Collaborative Approaches to Planning
  • Community-Based Planning - Incorporates holistic,
    adaptive, pluralistic approaches.
  • Collaborative Approaches - Working with local
    communities to gain traditional knowledge and
    gain local acceptance of management plans.

29
COLLECTIVE ACTION
  • Student Environmental Groups
  • Student Environmental Action Coalition
  • Public Interest Research Groups, etc.
  • Mainline Environmental Organization
  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Sierra Club,etc.
  • Radical Environmental Groups
  • Earth First
  • Sea Shepherd,etc,
  • International Nongovernmental Organizations(NGOs)
    have become powerful aspects of environmental
    protection.

30
Summary
  • Decision Making
  • Environmental Policy Cycle
  • NEPA and EIS
  • Environmental Law
  • Statutory Law
  • Case Law
  • Administrative Law
  • International Treaties
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Collective Action

31
(No Transcript)
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