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Volume 37, Issue 2 — February 2007


Legal Background to Off-Site Contamination

by John Pendergrass

Editor's Summary: The law governing off-site contamination began with common law and has grown to include federal legislation such as Superfund, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Oil Pollution Act. John Pendergrass traces the development of this area of law from its beginnings in tort and third-party liability to present-day state and federal statutes. In this Article, he offers a study of the chronology of brownfields legislation, concluding with some remarks about the future of off-site contamination law.

Increasing the Value and Expanding the Market for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency With Clean Air Policies

by Debra A. Jacobson

Debra A. Jacobson is Professorial Lecturer in Law at The George Washington University Law School and the owner of DJ Consulting LLC. She led the legal and policy analysis work on this project, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Wind Powering America Program and DOE's Clean Energy/Air Quality Integration Initiative. Alden Hathaway and Colin High led the technical analysis work. Liz Salerno, Policy Analyst with the American Wind Energy Association, provided input into the policy discussion. The analysis used in Figure 1 was supported by contracts from Connecticut Smart Power and Environment Resources Trust. The initial analysis of the avoided emissions for the Montgomery County wind purchase was supported by a contract with Clipper Windpower, Inc. The views expressed in this Article are solely those of the authors. Debra Jacobson can be contacted at djconsultingllc@earthlink.net. Colin High can be contacted at chigh@rsginc.com, and Alden Hathaway can be contacted at ahathaway@ert.net.

Legal Tools That Provide Direct Protection for Elements of Biodiversity

by Robert B. McKinstry Jr., James McElfish, Michael Jacobson, and Derald J. Hay

Editors' Summary: An array of regulatory and planning tools for protecting biodiversity is available to federal, state, and local governments. In this Article, Robert McKinstry Jr., James McElfish, Michael Jacobson, and Derald Hay examine these tools along with their strengths and limitations. The authors provide examples by way of several case studies of state laws and programs, exposing gaps that these state regulations leave in biodiversity protection. The authors argue that states can best fill these regulatory gaps by exercising their broad authority for planning, which allows for integration and coordination of regulatory mechanisms.


The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands: Assessment of International Designations Within the United States

by Royal C. Gardner and Kim Diana Connolly

Editors' Summary: The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat, more commonly knows as the Ramsar Convention, is one international framework used to protect wetlands. At this time, the United States has designated 22 sites as wetlands of international importance. In this Article, Royal C. Gardner and Kim Diana Connolly analyze survey data collected from each of these 22 sites to determine whether and how Ramsar designation benefits these wetland areas. The authors first provide a brief overview of the Ramsar Convention, including its function within the United States. They then break down the survey data, looking at both benefits and problems of Ramsar designation. Finally, they make several recommendations for strengthening Ramsar within the United States.

New Directions for Wetland Mitigation and Implications for the Nation's Waters

by Holly V. Campbell

Editors' Summary: Many parties and factors are participating in shaping the future of wetland loss mitigation. Considerations of the status and viability of the "no net loss" wetlands policy are urgent in light of increasing population and urban development. In this Article, Holly Campbell examines U.S. wetlands law and policy, particularly the role of mitigation. She begins the Article with some background information on wetlands compensatory mitigation and where it fits within the law. She describes the 2001 National Research Council findings and recommendations regarding wetlands mitigation, and concludes with her observations and predictions for the long-term future of wetlands, mitigation, and what may be necessary to achieve a net gain in wetland functions across the United States.