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About the Book

Environmental Law and Policy: Nature, Law, and Society

Front Cover - Environmental Law and Policy: Nature, Law, and Society

Fourth Edition

Zygmunt J.B. Plater
Boston College

Robert H. Abrams
Florida A&M University

Robert L. Graham
Jenner & Block, Chicago

Lisa Heinzerling
Georgetown University

David L. Wirth
Boston College

Noah D. Hall
Wayne State University 

2010. 1,200 pages. ISBN: 978-0-7355-7770-1. With Teacher's Manual.

About the Book

Environmental Law and Policy: Nature, Law, and Society, Fourth Edition is a user-friendly book noted for its comprehensive legal process approach to the depth and complexity of modern environmental law, gives students a solid doctrinal footing in the law and helps build their analytical skills


  • Provides broad topical coverage plus a reference section including a Statutory Capsule Appendix and an annotated Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations.
  • Extensive author-written explanations are supplemented by a large number of visuals, including charts, graphs, and photographs.
  • The legal process approach, building on a base of common law and constitutional law and continuing on to statutory and administrative law, shows both the structure of the law and how it works.
  • Statutory and regulatory materials build on the common law foundation of environmental law, showing the various ways in which statutes address environmental problems and pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each generic statutory type.
  • Covers the staples of environmental law plus hot topical areas of climate change law, regulation of toxics including consumer product exposures, natural ecological services, risk assessment, "brownfielding" of contaminated sites, and the linkage between endangered polar bears and atmospheric loading.
  • Accompanied by two Teacher's Manuals (one for law school professors and one for non-law professors), continuously updated with new developments in the field, and a website with supplementary materials for adopters. The Teacher's Manual and supplementary materials suggest simulations and other exercises available online for integrating problem-solving practical perspectives into the standard class format.

New to the Fourth Edition:

  • New co-author, Noah D. Hall of Wayne State University, has joined the author team.
  • An array of significant materials not generally covered in other casebooks, including
    -The Copenhagen Accords (the December 2009 climate change international carbon regulatory convention)
    - Exxon Shipping v. Baker (oil spill punitive damages)
    - Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil (climate change/public nuisance tort)
    - Natl. Assoc. of Homebuilders v. Defenders of Wildlife (endangered species and clash of statutes/ESA, CWA)
    - Coeur Alaska v. SE Alaska Conservation Council ("When can a pristine river be a toxic disposal lagoon?" and the   Supreme Court's recent parade of retreats from environmental protection
    - So. Utah Wilderness Alliance v. Norton (as a reflection of pressures on resources planning)
    - Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida (sea-rise and oceanfront property)
  • Expanded coverage of clean water, greenhouse gas trading, carbon taxes, and more.
  • Reorganized to bring related content together and better correspond to the amount of time spent on various topics.