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Issue

Volume 28, Issue 9 — September 1998

Articles

European Community Environmental Law: Institutions, Law Making, Enforcement, and Free Trade

by Rod Hunter and Koen Muylle

Editors' Summary: In this Article, which will be published later this year as part of the Environmental Law Institute's European Community Deskbook, 2nd Edition, the authors familiarize the reader with the intricacies of the European legal system. They begin by describing the anatomy of European Community law — its institutions, procedures, implementation methods, and enforcement mechanisms. Throughout this description, the authors examine environmental legislation and court decisions, thus explaining the European Community's environmental system and revealing the complex relationship between the Community and its member states. From there the authors move to a more detailed explanation of the European Community's power to adopt environmental measures and of the important role the principle of the free movement of goods plays in environmental law making. The authors conclude the Article, which constitutes the first half of the Deskbook's commentary, with a discussion of the extension of the European Community's environmental laws to European Free Trade Area countries and accession countries. The second half of this primer on European Community environmental law will be published in an upcoming edition of ELR's News & Analysis.

EPA's New Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter and Ozone: Boon for Health or Threat to the Clean Air Act?

by Lucinda Minton Langworthy

Editors' Summary: This Article discusses the new ozone and particulate matter (PM) NAAQS that EPA promulgated in 1997. It begins by examining the relevant provisions of the CAA and reviewing EPA's history of regulating ozone and PM. It also discusses the costs and impacts associated with implementing the new NAAQS. The Article concludes that less stringent ozone and PM NAAQS would meet the CAA's requisite level of health protection with far fewer negative impacts on the U.S. economy and society. Should the negative impacts of implementing the new NAAQS prove to be unacceptable to the American public, the Article suggests reconsidering whether the possible adverse health effects of airborne pollutants should be the only factor considered in establishing and revising NAAQS.

Dialogue

Fourteen Not So Easy Steps to a Successful Environmental Management Program

by Alvin L. Alm

Editors' Summary: In 1989, the DOE created the Environmental Management (EM) program to clean up contamination caused by the production of nuclear weapons. In recent years, the DOE has suffered congressional criticism and reduced budgets. Although the EM program pushed for greater efficiency, its initiative lacked a coherent strategy necessary to address the overall cleanup program. This Dialogue identifies 14 principles that are vital to the cleanup of the DOE's nuclear weapons complex. The author argues that aggressive and competent implementation of these principles will increase both the success and cost-effectiveness of the DOE's cleanup. The author, however, concludes that, without increased authority and flexibility for the assistant secretary in charge of the EM program, such implementation is not possible under the DOE's current organizational structure.

Can the Kyoto Protocol Support Biodiversity Conservation? Legal and Financial Challenges

by Joy E. Hecht & Brett Orlando

Editors' Summary: The controversial Kyoto Protocol, negotiated in December 1997, is the first major step toward implementation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Protocol sets targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by industrialized countries. This Dialogue focuses on the provisions of the Protocol that are concerned with carbon absorption by terrestrial ecosystems. It also examines the provisions' potential for creating effective and sustainable management of forests and associated biodiversity. The authors note that certain legal and financial issues must be resolved for that potential to come to fruition. This Dialogue reviews those legal and financial issues in order to provide a clear picture of what actually will be required for the Protocol to support effective forest management and biodiversity. The authors conclude that the Protocol's forest provisions, as written, may not be fully effective. Furthermore, although the Protocol creates opportunities to support proper forest management and biodiversity conservation, the overall climate change objectives of the Protocol could face significant risks and hindrances from "positive externalities" such as carbon sequestration projects. Those risks, however, can be minimized by research and information systems development and through the introduction of financial instruments that reduce the risks and transaction costs faced by investors.