The 'Worst Case' May Be the Best: Rethinking NEPA Law to Avoid Future Environmental Disasters
Victor Byers Flatt
UNC Chapel Hill School of Law; University of Houston Global Energy Management Institute
May 9, 2012
7 Environmental & Energy Law & Policy Journal, 2012 (Forthcoming)
UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2055239
One of the major causes of the Macondo Well Oil Disaster was the Improper Use of NEPA categorial exclusions by the Mineral Management Service, and the failure, under NEPA, to consider what "could" happen in a spill of this magnitude. This article argues that even though we classically dismiss NEPA's regulatory requirement for a "worst case analysis," that the text of the statute and applicable case law still would require this in the face of possibly expected harm. Utilizing this may help stave off future environmental disasters.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 11, 2012
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