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http://ssrn.com/abstract=877164
 
 

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Shifting Science, Considered Costs, and Static Statutes: The Interpretation of Expansive Environmental Legislation


Jason J. Czarnezki


Pace University - School of Law

September 2006

Marquette Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-01
Virginia Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 431 (2006)

Abstract:     
Congress often passes expansive legislation, frequently environmental and public health regulatory statutes, where both the definition of those items being regulated and the mandate have significant breadth. How should these provisions be construed? While it is difficult to establish a model which determines whether to broadly or narrowly construe an expansive statutory provision, factors that impact this choice include the existence of express limitations on the mandate, understandings of congressional intent, avoiding regulation that might do more harm than good, the nature of the regulated item, and intervening circumstances such as new understandings in law, policy or science. This Article sets out to establish how, why, and when courts should broadly interpret expansive environmental and public health legislation. Absent express limitations requiring cost-benefit analysis or technological feasibility, courts should broadly construe expansive legislation because courts are equipped to interpret the mandate, the costs of non-regulation are potentially high, and it should be assumed that Congress, in recognition of changed circumstances, was aware of the breadth of the textual language; whereas courts should allow administrative agencies to narrowly or broadly construe statutory provisions with such limitations subject to Chevron deference.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: interpretation, administrative, Chevron, environment, health

JEL Classification: K29, K33

working papers series


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Date posted: January 24, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Czarnezki, Jason J., Shifting Science, Considered Costs, and Static Statutes: The Interpretation of Expansive Environmental Legislation (September 2006). Marquette Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 06-01; Virginia Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 25, p. 431 (2006). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=877164 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.877164

Contact Information

Jason J. Czarnezki (Contact Author)
Pace University - School of Law ( email )
78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States
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