Environmental Principles in U.S. and Canadian Law

Ludwig Krämer and Emanuela Orlando, Eds., Principles of Environmental Law, Edward Elgar Publishers (IUCN Encyclopaedia Series) (2018)

University at Buffalo School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-009

24 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2017

See all articles by Errol Meidinger

Errol Meidinger

University at Buffalo Law School

Daniel Spitzer

Hodgson Russ LLP

Charles Malcomb

Hodgson Russ LLP

Date Written: November 2, 2017

Abstract

This article examines the role of commonly espoused environmental principles in U.S. and Canadian law. A number of substantive principles are evident in the environmental laws of both countries, including: cost-benefit analysis, transboundary responsibility, sustainable use, sustainable development, pollution prevention, precaution, integration, polluter pays, strict liability, and extended producer responsibility. However, they often play a secondary role to political and economic considerations in shaping environmental policy. Thus, the positive functions that substantive principles are sometimes thought to perform – increasing coherence, legitimacy, transboundary consistency, and potentially the progressive realization of environmental protection – appear relatively muted in the U.S. and Canadian legal systems. More “procedural” principles, such as federalism, public participation, public information, availability of remedies, judicial review, and private enforcement, however, are well rooted and broadly important in both systems. Substantive principles may play a more significant role in local government and non-state environmental governance institutions.

Keywords: cost-benefit analysis, emissions trading, environmental law, environmental principles, extended producer responsibility, federalism, market mechanisms, non-state governance, polluter pays, pollution prevention, precautionary principle, sustainability, sustainable development, transboundary pollution

Suggested Citation

Meidinger, Errol and Spitzer, Daniel and Malcomb, Charles, Environmental Principles in U.S. and Canadian Law (November 2, 2017). Ludwig Krämer and Emanuela Orlando, Eds., Principles of Environmental Law, Edward Elgar Publishers (IUCN Encyclopaedia Series) (2018); University at Buffalo School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3063979

Errol Meidinger (Contact Author)

University at Buffalo Law School ( email )

520 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States
716-645-6692 (Phone)
716-645-2064 (Fax)

Daniel Spitzer

Hodgson Russ LLP ( email )

United States

Charles Malcomb

Hodgson Russ LLP ( email )

United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
72
Abstract Views
565
rank
336,717
PlumX Metrics