ENVIRON 475 - Environmental Law
Winter 2020, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Program in the Environment (ENVIRON)
Department: SNE Program in the Environment
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Theme, Sustain
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Environmental Law provides an overview of the protection of environmental interests and needs in the American legal system, from a stable climate to safe drinking water. The course begins with brief introductions to constitutional law, property law, tort law, and administrative law as they relate to environmental governance and disputes. The course then surveys the major federal environmental regulatory statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and laws regarding waste and remediation. Finally, the course looks at environmental rights, including the public trust doctrine, state and federal constitutional rights, and the human right to a healthy environment. Students will explore not only how environmental law works but why it has failed to address climate change or provide environmental justice in the United States, with potential improvements and solutions. The course will include a detailed case study of the Flint water crisis and the opportunity to visit hearings and trials in court.

The textbook is Environmental Law and Policy: Nature, Law, and Society by Plater, et al. (5th Edition, 2016).

Course Requirements:

The grade is based upon two midterm exams, a final exam, 10 sets of reading questions and, to a lesser extent, class participation. The exams are primarily essay questions.

Intended Audience:

The course is designed for anyone with an interest in environmental law. Is intended for upper-class and graduate students.

Class Format:


ENVIRON 475 - Environmental Law
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
F 1:00PM - 2:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
Th 4:00PM - 5:00PM
004 (DIS)
 In Person
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)