Environmental Law: Government and Public Policy Towards the Environment

Environmental Law: Government and Public Policy Towards the Environment

What is Environmental Law?

Humanity has been aware of its environment far longer than there have been laws to protect environments. Environmental law, or sometimes known as environmental and natural resources law, is a term used to explain regulations, statutes, local, national and international legislation, and treaties designed to protect the environment from damage and to explain the legal consequences of such damage towards governments or private entities or individuals (1) . As we will explain in the next section, it covers many areas, all with the same purpose already described here. However, the term “environmental law” does not just cover government legislation. It can also describe a desire by businesses and other organizations, and their regulators to work towards improving ethical principles by setting regulation and industry standards for operating licenses. These are not “laws” per se but act as such within a regulatory framework. It can also apply a method of land management on a kind of understanding of acting responsibly and ethically.

Similarly, impact assessment is not always legally required, but the permission to develop, construct, modify or engineer can often be refused if one is not carried out. These are voluntary regulations rather than law conducted for the good of the environment and the local population. For various reasons, environmental law has always been a flashpoint of controversy. Debates often center on cost, the necessity of such regulations, and the age-old friction between government regulation and encouraging the market to self-regulate and do the right thing for the good of everyone. For example, the ongoing debate over the impact of certain pesticides in agriculture , greenhouse gas emissions are often a battle between the science and industry's attempts to muddy the science and government lobbying to roll back legislation (2) . The other side of the debate is that current industry regulations and legislation are insufficient. Both sides regularly hold conferences to discuss aspects of environmental law and how they should go about getting them changed in their favor.

Useful Environmental Law Terms

Abatement : The process of reducing the quantity, intensity, or saturation of a pollutant or other harmful substance by way of treatment.

Acidification : Reducing the pH rating of a substance making it more acidic in nature, for example, increased carbon emissions lead to the oceans absorbing more of it, increasing acidification and damaging ecology such as coral bleaching.

Active ingredient : Also used in medicine, the “active ingredient” in a chemical compound is the one that has the intended effect. In medicinal use, it's the substance that attacks the bacteria/virus/tumor. In pesticide use, it's the substance that kills or repels pests.

Air emissions : Any gas emitted into the atmosphere from industrial or commercial activity. Typically used in conjunction with “greenhouse gas” but some emissions are not GHGs.

Biodegradable : Used to describe substances and the ability of microorganisms (bacteria, algae) to break it down.

Biodiversity : The range of species in an ecology, examining population numbers of each species, number of species, the balance between predator and prey, and the food chain.

Biomass : The sum total of vegetation in a given ecological area.

Brownfields site : Land that has been developed in the past but is now underused or disused (3) . In some cases, they are risky due to potential contamination that may require investigation and treatment before construction or to simply protect the local environment.

Catalyst : A chemical compound that alters another to render it inert, less harmful, or less intense without removing some of its parts - usually adding to it.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) : A group of inert chemical used in many industrial and everyday processes such as our refrigerators that are not broken down at lower atmospheric levels and rise to the upper levels, destroying ozone.

Climate change : The process by which the climate changes due to “forcings”. These can be natural events or, as is the case at present, the result of industrial age actions in increasing greenhouse gases and reducing carbon sinks.

Commercial Waste : Any waste material produced as a byproduct of commercial or industrial activity.

Conservation : The preservation or restoration of a natural environment for the social, ecological, or even economical benefit. For example, a program of river conservation will increase biodiversity while making the surrounding environment and people who live there healthier.

Decontamination : The removal of toxic or other harmful substances from an environment. The substance may be harmful to wildlife, people, biodiversity or the overall ecology.

Drainage : The process of removing excess moisture from land - typically wetlands or saturated agricultural land.

Dredging : The removal of silt, mud, or other sold material from the bed of a body of water. Too much of this material can cause flooding.

Emission : Any pollutant discharged into the atmosphere that will contribute to overall chemical change as it will not be broken down or otherwise removed.

Endangered species : Any species whose numbers and diversity is so low that they are at danger of becoming extinct.

task environment law

Erosion : The process of land wearing away over time.

Energy Efficiency : The amount of energy harnessed from the combustion process (burning fuel). Machinery, motor vehicles, and our homes are said to be energy efficient the more energy that is extracted from lower or smaller volumes of the source.

Filtration : Removing solid waste and material from water in the process of wastewater treatment.

Fossil fuel : Any mineralized formerly organic material extracted from the ground and used in energy production: coal, natural gas, oil.

Greenfields site : The opposite of brownfield sites, it is typically land that has been used only for agricultural use, or forested area, that has never been developed for residential, commercial or industrial use (4).

Greenhouse gas : A group of gases known to be responsible for increasing the “greenhouse effect” - that is, gases that absorb infrared radiation and increase atmospheric density. They are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, CFCs, and hydrofluorocarbons.

Half-life : the time it takes for any pollutant (usually refers to radioactive material but also includes other toxic material) to halve its effect on the environment.

Hazardous material/substance : Any organic on inorganic material that can damage human health or the environment. This can include corrosive, toxic, explosive, flammable, or chemical reactants. Anything with this designation, of spilled in US waters, must be reported to the EPA.

Hazardous Waste : Similar to above, but waste material produced as a byproduct of any commercial or industrial activity that has the same dangerous attributes. As it is a waste, it serves no purpose on its own.

Indigenous species : A species of flora or fauna recognized as being native to a certain area. Often subject to specific environmental protections, especially when “endangered” (see above)

Indoor air (pollution) : coming under OSHA rather than EPA, there are laws in place to ensure that employees work in a clean and safe environment with good ventilation . Indoor air is anything contained with a building. Indoor air pollution is any chemical or other substances contributing to an imbalance that could affect the health of the building's inhabitants.

Invasive species : A species of flora or fauna not native to a certain area, but one that has colonized it - usually presenting problems for native wildlife. Invasive species are sometimes subject to active control and deliberate removal

Landfill : An area of land set aside for the disposal of waste - usually commercial or residential of non-toxic waste although in the case of where they might contain such, treatment may be required to prevent pollution.

Margin of Safety : The designated upper limit of exposure to a potentially harmful substance before it becomes harmful. This can apply to human health and to environmental exposure.

Material Safety Data Sheet : An international standard form containing information relevant to a substance's toxicity, hazardousness, and potential environmental damage. It also explains proper protection equipment and what to do in the result of exposure (First Aid)

National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) : A set of EPA standards applying to the quality of outside air in the US.

National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) : A set of EPA standards on air pollutant emissions of chemicals that could cause serious permanent harm to wildlife or people or kill organic matter.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) : Set up by the EPA to determine standards for clean water (part of the Clean Water Act). It prohibits the discharge of polluting chemicals into US waters unless a special permit is granted.

National Priorities List (NPL) : The EPA keeps a registered list of sites in the US that have been abandoned due to the presence of hazardous waste and require long-term remedial action. They use a hazard ranking system and a fund is made available for remediation.

National Response Team (NRT) : This is a team from 13 different Federal agencies that come together to coordinate federal responses to incidents such as natural disasters, oil spills, significant pollution emission, chemical releases and so on.

National Strike Force (NSF) : an area of responsibility for the US Coast Guard, the NSF has three teams - one in the Atlantic area, one in the Pacific area, and the third in the coast area. Their job is to back up the federal On-Scene Coordinators in responding to the events mentioned in the NRT listing.

Ozone layer : A protective layer of gas in the upper atmosphere that absorbs the sun's must harmful radiation. Its depletion was one of the major problems of the 1980s.

Pollutant : A substance or material introduced into an environment that has negative or harmful effects to the ecology or specific biological species, or one that reduces the efficiency or safety of a resource.

Radiation : The transmission of energy through space. It can be ionizing or non-ionizing. The former is powerful enough to break bonds (x-rays) the latter is not (radio frequency)

Remediation : The process of removing toxic materials from an environment and the attempt to restore it to a previous state. This can be anything from asbestos , lead and other heavy metals, and radioactive isotopes.

Risk Assessment : An official investigation, usually required legally, to examine risk exposure and potential consequences under any scenario.

Sanctions : This legal term also exists outside of environmental law and it means the same thing. It's the application of measures against a polluter or other entity or person who breaks environmental law. Often, measures will include a ban on government contracts.

Sewage : Solid and liquid waste removed from residential properties, typically human waste but also includes anything that uses water to take it away. Sometimes called “ wastewater ”.

Smog : a portmanteau of “smoke” and “fog”. Smog is not natural, It is the direct result of emissions from industrial processes.

Toxic : A substance is labeled “toxic” if it is poisonous or otherwise harmful to the health of biological organisms or an ecology.

Vulnerable Zone : During a chemical leak, it will be necessary to track its most likely path based on meteorological data. The vulnerable zone is the area where the airborne pollutant or chemical might because problematic.

Water budget : What is the difference between the water stock and the water used? Increasingly important in drought-hit areas, it's important to monitor and manage water supplies to ensure we don't use more than is available.

Water table : The “typical” level of water beneath solid ground. It's higher during wet periods and lower during drier spells.

Wetlands : A wetland is an area of land that has a high water table or one that is typically flooded for most of the time. It can be tidal or non-tidal and includes marshes and floodplains. The Everglades National Park is one such example. They are often a haven for wildlife and subject to protections to preserve their unique profile.

What Does Environmental Law Cover?

There are many areas under the umbrella of environmental law. All have one thing in common - the protection of ecology and the health of the environment.

The first and most visible way in which the public is aware of and engaged with environmental law is pollution. Some of the world's earliest environmental laws concern the protection of our environment from polluting materials and, by extension, aim to improve public health .

Air Pollution and Quality : This is the enforcement of air standards through monitoring that determines what constitutes safe levels of certain substances emitted by industrial processes, motor vehicles, and part of our everyday lives. There are laws for the outside and indoor environments to ensure safe working levels. They are designed to protect human and ecological health. Some are concerned with placing limitations on emissions (as some countries now include emissions tests for annual vehicle safety checks) while others are enacted to eliminate it altogether. One of the best examples of control or elimination is the global legislation in the 1980s to limit CFC emissions that were damaging the ozone layer (5) . There may also be requirements on what technologies must be used for mitigation such as the use of catalytic converters in cars that used older lead fuel (6) .

Contaminant Cleanup, Prevention and Mitigation : Toxic spills and leaks happen even with all the best intentions in the world. While some are the result of negligence, some are unavoidable. Regardless of whether such a pollutant leak is avoidable or unavoidable, there are necessary laws determining what is required of the responsible party and the team responsible for the cleanup should do to ensure that contamination is first limited and controlled, and then removed from an environment to avoid longer-term or large-scale damage. Regulations can also include liability, response, determine the process of investigation, monitoring before, during and after cleanup, and the risk assessment of long-term effects.

Safe Use of Chemicals : The safe use of chemicals is required in any workplace where they are used: from industrial manufacturing to agriculture, testing laboratories , professional cleaning, repair garages, such chemical safety laws seek to govern how we use them. This means the corrects storage of chemicals, their use, safety equipment in their application, the types of storage containers and even how (and who) they are bought and sold such as licenses, to registered businesses and so on. This seeks to manage and control by limiting risk and ensuring safety, the actual chemicals and substances where they are necessary. Environmental law has also banned some chemicals where their risks outweigh the benefits. A good example of this is the removal of Bisphenol A from plastic bottles in some states (7) .

Waste Management : Waste is a fact of life. Our homes, industry, and commerce all produce waste; it cannot be avoided. Waste management concerns the governance of many aspects of waste from their transport and storage, proper procedure on disposal and treatment where necessary, everything from the recyclable packaging of our household waste right up to nuclear waste as a byproduct of energy production. Some of these are damaging to the environment or human health - or both - while some are not harmful but take too long so long to break down that they go into a landfill. Waste management is as much about reducing the amount of raw material in a landfill as it is about protecting health.

task environment law

Water Quality : Water covers around 2/3 of the planet's surface. There are necessary laws state, Federal, and international that govern what we may and may not do to and with sources of water. Pollutants don't just harm drinking water or localized areas but can make their way into the water system and into the oceans - causing wide-scale damage, potentially. Water quality laws concern the release of pollutants into any water body be it surface water, drinking water supply, and the water table, rivers, seasons, and oceans. Some concern human health only while others look at wider-scale ecological issues, depending on the law. Some list pollutants that may not be flushed into a water system while others determine that substances must be chemically altered and rendered inert before disposal. Examples include raw sewage, agricultural waste, and the procedure for water run-off from industrial or construction sites.

Sustainability of Resources

As well as prevention, treatment and mitigation of the above resources, there is increasingly a need for laws concerning sustainability . This is defined as the ability or desire to sustain a resource at a certain level and based on three scientific principles: increased dependence on renewable energy, biodiversity, and chemical cycling. Typically, it involved interventions to place limits on use or to enforce standards of replacement. It covers the following areas.

Learn more about MNR programs .

Forestry and landscape sustainability : Forestry and landscape represent some of the oldest environmental protection laws in the world. Around the end of the 19 th century and beyond, the US and many other nations enacted National Parks -protected areas of natural spaces to encourage ecology . Although terms and policy differ by country, the general philosophy and approach to national parks, wilderness, scientifically special areas mean protection from many activities but particularly construction and development. They can cover anything from a proper procedure on land clearance - not just forbidding it but also controlled burning policy. Government take on responsibility for enforcing the law, setting punishments, and mitigating problems. Often, people who work in those areas are government employees although this too depends on the law of each country or state.

Impact assessment and monitoring : Environmental impact assessments examine the potential consequences under specific scenarios of the results of an action. This can and does include the wider ecological effects of construction and development or increased industrial output, but it can also include the potential positives such as how land might recover from environmental problems or what the long-term ecological effects will be of reforesting with a certain type of tree canopy. Impact assessment examines issues critically and with a view to the facts and potential consequences. Governments typically require a formalized report before granting planning permission, for example.

Mineral resource sustainability : Minerals are precious metals, sold and liquid fossil fuels such as oil and coal, are resources that require licensing and protection for proper management. These are finite resources and as they exist on government land, businesses wishing to operate them must seek license. Mining is a messy and potentially dangerous business. Sustainability does not apply to the resource itself (as it is finite) but to ensuring good environmental standards in its extraction and processing, and the health and safety standards required of those extracting it.

Water resource sustainability : Water is a renewable resource but when handled poorly, can lead to shortages. Specifically, water resource sustainability refers to the process of harnessing and using it, in areas where drought is likely, managing it for minimal wastage. As water and water runoff does not respect political boundaries, international laws on conservation and use are common and applied, especially where there is shared use and responsibility or competing claims to it. Laws here apply to surface water such as rivers, lakes and oceans, floodwater and ice meltwater, groundwater and the water table.

Wildlife and fishery sustainability : Laws protecting wildlife seek to control and limit the impact of human activity on animal species and by extension, prevent an imbalance of natural food chains. There are also laws to protect botanical species, particularly those vital to a local ecology or those that are endangered or threatened, or otherwise considering scientifically important. It can include conservation status, quotas on the numbers that may be caught/hunted (for example as applies to international fishing rights) or a complete ban, or international bans on trading in certain items. Ivory is one example of this.

Learn more about sustainability degrees .

General Principles and Philosophies

There are not “laws” as such, but general trends in environmental policy for business, guidance by industry regulators, change fueled by expectations from customers, or agreements between governments or good practice that are not legally binding but for the common good. They concern many aspects not already covered in previous sections.

Accountability and Transparency : The need for transparency towards the public and stakeholders from those responsible is a growing expectation in the need to mitigate and treat environmental damage. We expect it from government and industry towards the populations who will be affected by it. UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) states the need for protection of human rights on opinions and to seek and impart ideas. There is also a right of access to information in an appropriate manner and time from governments holding data that might concern the public over any aspect of environmental protection without making it prohibitively expensive to do so. There should also be effective judicial and proceedings against polluters and those responsible.

Cross-border responsibility : This is an international law obligation also set down by UNEP. It is defined as the obligation of governments to protect the environment within their borders and to do what it takes to prevent a nation's activities from causing damaging to neighboring nations. It is seen as a potential limitation on the rights of sovereign states and therefore treated as a human rights issue.

Equity and Equality : This is not about gender, sexuality, or race equality when it comes to environmental protection, but for the right of succeeding generations to enjoy the same or better benefits than the generations that preceded it, according to UNEP. The biggest issues of the age include climate change and resource depletion, an issue that will affect coming generations as previous generations add to the depletion and environmental damage. It determines the responsibility of previous generations to the future. Naturally, this concerns not just resource control, but also pollution mitigation.

Polluter Pays : Tied to responsibility and accountability, it is the core belief that those who cause damage should be responsible for the cleanup rather than expecting the public or others to do so such as taxpayer dollars. Environmental remediation is a necessary area of environmental protection and it is on this basis that such roles exist within organizations.

Precautionary Principle : Often a hot topic and subject to furious debate, this international standard promotes the concept through The Rio Declaration that to protect an environment, a precautionary approach must be applied according to their capability. When there is a threat of damage, governments must not muddy the waters or use scientific uncertainty (either real or imagined) to abdicate responsibility or to procrastinate over an issue.

Prevention : “Prevention is better than cure” is a mantra in many areas and it's certainly true of ecology and environmental protection. It looks at ways of pushing the need for analyzing potential harms in such processes as risk assessment and puts in place measures for preventing incidents, accidents and worst case scenarios. The cost of prevention (financial or otherwise) is always better than the long-term harm and massive expense necessary with a cleanup, for example.

Sustainable Development : This legal term described as thus: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" and tied to the generational equity and equality principle. Interdependence, integration, legal requirement of environmental impact are all key pillars of the idea. It came into force in 1972 although it's only become prominent recently. In 1983, the UN declared that the right to develop should apply equally to present as well as future generations.

Why is Environmental Law Important?

Laws are put in place for many reasons. Some are for the public good, health, and protection. Others are put in place to avoid other forms of harm. Environmental laws are enacted inside borders and as transborder measures for many reasons with public health and resource protection being amongst the most common.

For Health of Current Generations

Healthcare is an expensive business no matter where you are in the world. Some of the world's oldest environmental protections were designed with human health in mind. The Clean Air Act is an excellent example of this following the publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. Although focused on ecology, areas of the book touched on human health and the damage that industrial activity of the past 100-150 years was doing to our lives. Even today, people who live in the most heavily industrialized areas tend to suffer more health issues (8) and more longer-term health problems too. It's vital that we clean up the air, water and other aspects of the environment to improve their health.

For Health of Future Generations

It isn't just the health of current generations about which we need to be concerned. Our children and their children and so on will experience the growing cost of healthcare (9) , sometimes due to environmental reasons, leading to greater instances of some conditions. All over the world, even in countries where there is socialized healthcare, instances of health problems and the costs of implementing a health system continue to increase. It is the mission of some environmental health laws to preserve future generations against further costs, the mitigate problems now, for ensuring a healthier populace and environment. We are also seeing new emergent diseases in areas that never experienced them before and greater instances of existing diseases where they are prevalent but controlled. Some of the reasons are believed to be ecological in nature with warming air and damper environments encouraging virus replication or the species that carry them such as mosquitoes.

Maintaining Resources and Lifestyle

In many ways, environmental laws are a form of insurance policy for the future for such things as food and water security , resource protection, energy, and ecological balance (10) . Fossil fuels are a depleting resource and though many metals are finite, they could potentially last centuries. There will come a time when certain resources are gone and that's why it's important to ensure we use as few of them as possible and take out insurance policies. Fishing rights are one of these issues. Overfishing in many parts of the world not just damages our food supply and the industry, but has the potential to upset the ecological balance of the oceans. That's why many countries have agreed to fish quotas.

For Ecology

The importance of protecting ecology cannot be overstated. The food chain, the water cycle, our resource security all depend on how well our environment is protected (11) . Any upset to this balance such as a resource depletion or removal, the introduction of an invasive species , damaging tree cover and uncontrolled emissions can cause long-term and wide-scale problems for an environment. We are already seeing the depletion of the ice caps and rising sea levels. Dilution of salts in our oceans can affect the ecological balance of that ocean. We also know that the jet streams and oscillations can change with atmospheric carbon, leading to erratic long-term weather changes which can also cause imbalances elsewhere. Global ecology is a network that transcends national interests and borders.

task environment law

The Financial Issues

Of all these issues here, the one that governments are most concerned about - and often used as an excuse for inaction - is the bottom line. But as the OECD states, the cost of inaction have always been far greater (12) . The cost to taxpayers and businesses will skyrocket over the coming decades. In the US we are already seeing an increase in cost to our health insurance premiums. Globally, the cost of property insurance is also increasing as damage from extreme weather conditions increases. Climate change is going to cost us all a lot of money - individually, businesses, and the public funds spent through governments. Environmental protection laws are in place to reduce some of the issues mentioned above such as protecting our health, but also to mitigate potential future costs of addressing them. This is an issue where prevention is better than cure.

“Future Proofing” Our World

How do we future-proof our world for future generations to enjoy the same levels of prosperity and health that the rest of us have enjoyed for generations? The answer to that is to enact environmental laws that attempt to preserve and protect the status quo where they are beneficial and to tackle the harm and damage being done for long-term sustainability. This will apply to food and water security for everyone. Many of the refugee problems of this current decade are considered the result of environmental disasters. Even with the rise of ISIS in the Middle East, many point to erratic weather and climate has having been a forcing on the political instability (along with other issues not related to environment that have been discussed repeatedly).

Learn more about environmental law degrees .

Key Current US Environmental Laws

The Clean Air Act : The oldest and best known of all environmental laws here in the US is the Clean Air Act. It came into being in 1970 and sets out provisions for regulating air emissions within our borders from all potential sources of aerial pollution. The US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is responsible for its enforcement. They are also responsible for creating, reviewing and maintaining NAAQS - the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), a set of standards on emissions.

The Clean Water Act : Just seven years after the Clean Air Act, the EPA is also responsible for monitoring and enforcing standards for similar laws designed to ensure our waterways are as clean and as healthy as possible. The provisions of the Clean Water Act means it is illegal for any person or entity to discharge pollutants into navigable waters within the borders and interests of the US without a special permit. 10 years later, the act was modified to include toxic pollutants and funded sewage.

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act : Known as CERCLA, this 1980 Act set to handle a growing problem of abandoned areas of the built environment that held and handled hazardous waste. There were also issues of toxic spills and accidents. CERCLA covers all of these issues and makes available a Federal superfund for cleaning up such spills and mitigating problems. It also grants the EPA powers to locate the responsible people or organization and demand their action (under the Polluter Pays principle) while granting the EPA power to recover costs of all actions.

Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act: EPCRA came into force in 1986. It made provisions for aiding local communities to protect their health and safety of their land, and to ensure neither suffer at the hands of toxic chemicals. It requires states to create and maintain a SERC (State Emergency Response Commission) divided by districts with individual committees (LEPCs) responsible for openness on information regarding chemical hazards in their area.

Endangered Species Act : Nearly every country has one of these now as well as international laws and designations for cross-border co-operation on conservation. This Act came into being in 1973 with the aim of setting out special protections for species at risk of extinction. The idea was to conserve and to increase population numbers - a measure that has mixed success. Risks to such species include overhunting/overfishing or gathering, toxic waste, a changing environment, deforestation and so on.

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act : Enacted in 1972, FIFRA is another law enforced by the EPA - then just two years old. Under this Act, they are responsible for the licensing of all pesticides and herbicides in agricultural use, and are empowered to prohibit the sale or other distribution and use of such substances. This power is usually enforced when demonstrated to play an active part in being damaging to health or affecting the survival rates of endangered or threatened species. Farmers and others who need to legitimately acquire pesticides for use must register as buyers and pass an exam.

National Environmental Policy Act : Coming into force in 1969 (one year before EPA's foundation) NEPA requires Federal government administrations consider the potential environmental consequences before engaging in any Federal government action that might have an environmental impact. This applies to public works such as bridgebuilding, public highways, urban development, oil pipelines on public land and many other projects.

Occupational Safety & Health Act : Enacted in the same year that the EPA came into force, OSHA addressed problematic lack of worker rights regarding health and safety in the workplace. Part of this addresses the environment such as the use and storage of toxic and hazardous substances on certain sites. It is as much about protecting the wider environment and public health as it is about protecting the user or handler's health. The EPA is not responsible for enforcing OSHA; as it is a public health issue more than an environmental one, that responsibility goes to a division of the Department of Labor and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Pollution Prevention Act : Prevention is always better than cure and the PPA attempts to set down a code, standards, regulations and laws on what to do to prevent environmental accidents. This seeks to reduce the number and amount of pollutants in the skies of the US by altering the processes of production and operating of those things that contain pollutants. The aim is to mitigate potential future problems by enforcing changes in production - proactive rather than reactive. This has been vital to improving general public health in the last few decades.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act : Another law that comes under the jurisdiction of the EPA, it is designed to oversee the generation of potentially toxic and hazardous waste, as well as its transportation, storage and treatment where necessary, and finally any disposal measures required. This also applies to non-hazardous waste. It is designed to complement CERCLA (see above) and cover gaps in its authority for a robust framework of legislation on waste management and storage. RCRA oversees active sites and future mitigation while CERCLA handles historic sites. Several amendments have been made in that time - the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments in 1984 to phase out land disposal of hazardous waste, and general RCRA amendments in 1986 to address concerns of subterranean storage.

Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) : Introduced in 1974, it is designed to ensure that water in the US is of sufficient quality and high standard as a matter of public health. Clean water is seen as a human right's issue internationally and the key to a high standard of public health. However, it also contains provisions for “nuisance” secondary standards which cover provisions for color, odor, and flavor. These are not enforced as they are not related to health, but the negative scent and color could discourage people from consuming it (13) .

Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) : Superfunds are Federally-mandated funds put aside for emergency environmental situations. This 1986 law reauthorized CERCLA (see above) to continue to pursue cleanup efforts and addressed specific issues that were arising through the process of that action. Title III of the Act created EPCRA (see above).

Toxic Substances Control Act : TSCA came into effect in 1976 to put in place a framework of screening chemical substances for potential hazards and problems before they become available in a chosen market. They also track chemicals that may pose a threat to health or environment, and for guidance on cleanup procedures following a leak or other contamination. It was designed as an addition to Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and others to help bridge gaps.

10 Key International Environmental Laws

There are so many international environmental laws that it's difficult to list them all to cover the multitude of areas that they cover. However, here is a list of the most common agreements made across borders.

Aarhus Convention : to give it the full name Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. It was signed by 46 states and the 28 European Union member states, coming into force on the 30 th October 2001. Its main provision is the granting of the right of information of environmental issues to citizens of signatory nations.

Biological Weapons Convention : Understanding that the use of biological weapons harm human health and have long-term effects on ecology, the BWC was the first agreement to completely ban a specific type of weapon. It became effective in 1975 and in 2018 has over 180 signatories.

Convention on Biological Diversity : Maintaining conservation and promoting biodiversity is just one of three major components to this treaty, the other two being: sustainability of natural resources, and equity in benefit sharing. It came into effect in 1993.

Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources : the world's last continent was already subject to international protection and an agreement that no one country could claim it (Antarctic Treaty 1959) when this convention in 1980 put in place protections for its unique marine ecology to protect environmental integrity. Similar conventions exist in other ecologically rich and delicate areas around the globe.

Convention on Fishing and Conservation of Living Resources of the High Seas : Fish stock is an international resource. While countries manage and fish their own stocks within their own borders and waters, shared rights exist in international waters. International co-operation for the conservation of marine species on the high seas.

Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution : Air pollution in one country is rarely limited in its effects to that one country. Air pollution requires international agreement to tackle and control. Virtually all northern hemisphere countries are signatories or have ratified this convention.

Framework Convention on Climate Change : This is the convention behind the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2015) and behind the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Their aim is to monitor all issues concerning climate change and to suggest treaties and laws for mitigation and reduction of the global temperature.

US-Canada Air Quality Agreement : This treaty involving just two countries was designed in the 1980s and came into effect in 1991. During negotiations, the media referred to it as the “Acid Rain Treaty”. That was its major reason for being, but it addressed several issues in the need to create a healthy environment in North America.

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer : The 1980s and 1990s were critical to many changes in international standards. One of the biggest problems from this era was the use of CFCs which were soon discovered as damaging to the ozone layer - the protective layer of gas in the upper atmosphere. This international treaty banned their use in most cases in a move designed to restore atmospheric safety.

World Heritage Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage : This groundbreaking treaty from the 1970s is responsible for the foundation of UNESCO international protection of natural wonders and historic monuments deemed of utmost importance to humanity. It created the World Heritage List which consists of cultural monuments and natural features.

Related Articles

task environment law

Geospatial Technology: An Introduction and Overview

task environment law

Guide to Mathematics

task environment law

Environmental Planning, Design, and GIS

task environment law

Geoscience: Unlocking the Planet’s Nature

Featured Article

task environment law

Ambient Air Quality and Environmental Health

The Law Dictionary

Your Free Online Legal Dictionary • Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Ed.

TASK Definition & Legal Meaning

Definition & citations:.

The essential and smallest part of a job that is a unit of work differentiating from other parts of the project.

This article contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. The Law Dictionary is not a law firm, and this page does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

Browse Legal Articles

Business Formation

Business Law

Child Custody & Support

Criminal Law

Employment & Labor Law

Estate Planning


Intellectual Property


Motor Vehicle Accidents

Personal Injury

Real Estate & Property Law

Traffic Violations

Browse by Area of Law

Powered by Black’s Law Dictionary, Free 2nd ed., and The Law Dictionary .

About The Law Dictionary

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

Environmental Law: A Beginner's Guide

Federal laws.

The U.S. Congress has passed significant legislation governing environmental law and policy. Below, you will find the more prominent pieces of legislation. If you wish to research the legislative history of these statutes, we recommend you review our research guide on federal legislative history , to help perform further research.

Clean Air Act (CAA)

According to the "Congressional findings and declaration of purpose" of the CAA, the Act was designed to "protect and enhance the quality of the Nation's air resources" and to promote research and provide assistance to state and local governments in an effort to combat air pollution. The CAA is overseen by the EPA .

Clean Water Act (CWA)

The CWA's "Congressional declaration of goals and policy" states that the "objective of this chapter is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters." The act provides for research, enforcement, and state assistance in efforts to curb water pollution. The CWA is overseen by the EPA .

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)

CERCLA, also known as Superfund, is a law that placed a tax on certain businesses in industries engaged in work with hazardous materials. The purpose of the tax was to provide funding to clean up any hazardous materials disposal sites if those businesses no longer existed. CERCLA is overseen by the EPA .

Endangered Species Act (ESA)

The ESA governs the conservation of fauna in the United States. The "Policy" section of the ESA states that it is "the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered species and threatened species." The act further provides that members from various agencies are to be placed on a task force, but final determination of animals that satisfy listing as endangered species is made by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce. The ESA is overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration .

Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA)

The MPRSA was passed to regulate dumping in the oceans. The "Congressional finding, policy, and declaration of purpose" section provides "it is the policy of the United States to regulate the dumping of all types of materials into ocean waters." The MPRSA further provides a framework for the regulation of dumping and enforcement of those regulations. The MPRSA is overseen by the EPA .

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

The passage of NEPA resulted in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. The "Congressional declaration of purpose" section at the beginning of the Act explains that NEPA's purpose is, "To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality." While the EPA is heavily involved with NEPA , the White House also appoints the Council on Environmental Quality , which oversees the implementation of NEPA across all agencies.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

The RCRA was passed to regulate solid waste in the United States. In the "Congressional findings" section, it is further provided that due to the passage of other environmental laws and regulations (such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act) more solid waste was being created, and there needed to be more regulation on hazardous waste disposal. The RCRA is overseen by the EPA .

Monash Business School

It is the University’s expectation that only those who are well and not presenting with COVID-19 symptoms attend a Monash campus or location. View our latest updates .

Task Environment

Marketing dictionary.

External environment of an organization which affects its ability to reach business goals. Any business or consumer with direct involvement with an organization may be part of the task environment. Examples of task environment sectors include, competitors, customers, suppliers and labour supply.

Select a letter to find terms listed alphabetically.


In order to continue enjoying our site, we ask that you confirm your identity as a human. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Task Environment - Meaning, Factors & Example

What is task environment.

Task Environment of an organization is the environment which directly affects the organization from attaining business goals. In brief, Task Environment is the set of conditions originating from suppliers, distributors, customers, stock markets and competitors which directly affects the organization from achieving its goals. 

Suppliers, distributors, customers, competitors all form part of the entire ecosystem in which an organization operates. Every business needs the other business to make sure that the best product is created for the customer meeting the needs and also earns profit. These interdependent conditions form the task environment.

Task Environment Factors

Task environment helps in identifying the environmental factors responsible for the success of the company or a product.

Factors with Examples for Task Environment


Competitors generally look for higher margins and for this they provide unique features to its products, thus try to create differentiation.

Example : Adidas, Nike, Puma all shoe manufacturers produce shoes catering for different segments in different styles and charge premium accordingly.

Organizations also compete for customers as well as for wholesalers, retailers etc. Customers decide the fate of any company and hence companies try their level best to lure them.

Example : Customers might start looking for some other alternative due to shift in consumer behavior like moving from conventional vehicles to electric vehicles. The shift might have been caused by the competitors.

Suppliers have high bargaining power if the raw materials being supplied are rare or if there are less number of suppliers in the market. So it’s important to hold on the suppliers and maintain good relationship with them. Acting intelligently, companies often maintain more number of suppliers to reduce risk of deserting by anyone.

Example : Kriti Nutrients Ltd. in India is supplier of lecithin to Nestle (for baby foods)


Distributors who become intermediary between retailers and wholesalers or between manufacturer and wholesaler play a vital role in a task environment.

Example : In case of CPG products, distributors are the most important players in terms of increasing reach of a product across markets, customers and channels.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Task Environment along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team . It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 2000 business concepts from 5 categories.

Continue Reading:

Facebook Share

What is MBA Skool? About Us

MBA Skool is a Knowledge Resource for Management Students, Aspirants & Professionals.

Business Courses

Quizzes & Skills

Quizzes test your expertise in business and Skill tests evaluate your management traits

Related Content

All Business Sections

Write for Us

task environment law

Contaminated water

task environment law

Strengthening environmental rule of law for sustainable development

Speech prepared for delivery at the World Judicial Conference.

Zhou Qiang , Chief Justice , President of the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China

Yang Wanming, Justice, Vice-President of the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China

Wang Yubo, Governor of Yunnan Province of the People’s Republic of China

Elizabeth Mrema, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity

Distinguished Justices, Judges and International experts

The COVID-19 pandemic is global tragedy. But is it not a one-off, or even the biggest threat humanity faces. It is an overture of what is to come if we do not transform our economies and societies. This means taking real and meaningful action to stabilize the climate, protect our natural world and stem pollution. We must do this to have any chance of creating a world of prosperity, equality and peace.

As we seek to carry out this great and essential task, environmental law will be critical.

Environmental rule of law is essential for the right to a healthy environment, which is in turn essential for the sustainable development agenda. We need effective institutions that support public participation and access to information and justice, particularly for vulnerable communities.

Judges, of course, are at the heart of the law. Judges enable environmental and climate justice by holding all actors, including governments, to account and enforcing laws. And, by protecting environmental defenders, judges protect nature. This is because these defenders, whom we know face great threats, are holding back the tide of unscrupulous people who would strip the planet bare in the name of short-term profit.

Judges will play an ever-growing role in shaping a sustainable future, which is why UNEP is committed to supporting them.

Judges are increasingly being called upon to incorporate principles of environmental law in their judgements. And they have been stepping up.

In 2016, a UNEP analysis revealed there were over 1,200 specialized environmental courts and tribunals. This year, we will release an updated analysis that will show a significant increase in this important trend.

In this regard, let me congratulate the Supreme People’s Court of China. In the last decade, China has created over 1,270 specialized environment tribunals, collegiate benches, detached tribunals and circuit courts – at provincial, regional and city level. And of course, the Supreme People’s Court established the environmental and resource tribunal in June 2014. We, at UNEP, are pleased to collaborate with these and all other courts across the world as they work to strengthen the role of environmental law.

Still, we need to equip more judges with foundational knowledge and tools on environmental matters and to strengthen the solidarity among the members of the judiciary. UNEP has long been deeply involved in capacity building for judges. Through the Global Judges Programme. Through the Asian Judges Network on the Environment. Through regional and global fora. And through the Global Judicial Institute on the Environment – a network organized by judges for judges – in which UNEP is a proud partner. Judicial networking and peer exchange through these programmes is an essential tool. We will continue to support it.

Dear Friends,

I hope to see deepened cooperation between countries and judges emerge from this conference. I am particularly encouraged to see biodiversity, and Kunming, on the agenda. Your discussions will provide vital contributions to the global discourse on biodiversity protection – and I ask you to pay special attention to the role of environmental defenders, who we must protect if we want them to win the battle for nature on the frontlines.

I look forward to hearing the outcomes of your conference and working together as we strive to strengthen environmental rule of law, and so build a better future for all life on earth.

Inger Andersen

Executive Director

Related Content

Woman with binocular

Related Sustainable Development Goals

task environment law

© UNEP Terms of Use Privacy   Report Project Concern Report Scam Contact Us

Scholarship Archive

Home > Research Centers & Programs > Sabin Center for Climate Change Law > 189

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Reframing Global Biodiversity Protection after COVID-19: Is International Environmental Law up to the Task?

Maria Antonia Tigre , Columbia Law School, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law Follow Natalia Urzola , Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE) Victoria Lichet , Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE)

Document Type

Publication date.

In an increasingly interdependent world, the climate and biodiversity crises are, more than ever, inextricably tied to human health and the transmission of infectious diseases. The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has irrevocably shown us that the exploitation of wild species and deforestation increases and modifies the interface between people and wildlife, leading to a spillover of diseases from wildlife to people. From a legal perspective, the gaps in international environmental law have contributed to the lack of an effective international biodiversity policy. In light of the challenges brought by the pandemic, there is now an opportunity to rethink our existing legal framework: How could international environmental law better protect biodiversity to avert future pandemics?


Environmental Law | International Law | Law

Recommended Citation

Maria A. Tigre, Natalia Urzola & Victoria Lichet, Reframing Global Biodiversity Protection after COVID-19: Is International Environmental Law up to the Task? , 23 Vt. J. Env't L. 123 (2022). Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/sabin_climate_change/189

For information and resources from the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, please visit us here .

Since April 21, 2022

Included in

Environmental Law Commons , International Law Commons

Advanced Search

Columbia Law Links

Author Corner

Home | About | FAQ | My Account | Accessibility Statement

Privacy Copyright

Workers' Right to Refuse Dangerous Work

If you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, we recommend that you bring the conditions to your employer's attention, if possible.

You may file a complaint with OSHA concerning a hazardous working condition at any time. However, you should not leave the worksite merely because you have filed a complaint. If the condition clearly presents a risk of death or serious physical harm, there is not sufficient time for OSHA to inspect, and, where possible, you have brought the condition to the attention of your employer, you may have a legal right to refuse to work in a situation in which you would be exposed to the hazard. (OSHA cannot enforce union contracts that give employees the right to refuse to work.)

Your right to refuse to do a task is protected if all of the following conditions are met:

You should take the following steps:

If your employer retaliates against you for refusing to perform the dangerous work, contact OSHA immediately. Complaints of retaliation must be made to OSHA within 30 days of the alleged reprisal. To contact OSHA call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and ask to be connected to your closest area office. No form is required to file a discrimination complaint, but you must call OSHA.

See the relevant regulation .

Profile Picture

Terms in this set (153)

Students also viewed.

Profile Picture

Sets found in the same folder

Ch 1-4 quizzes review bus glob.

Profile Picture


Profile Picture

MGT 3303 Chapter 1

Profile Picture

bus global exam 2

Other sets by this creator, mgt 4375 ch8, mgt 4375 ch 7, mgt 4375 ch 6, mgt 4375 ch5, verified questions.

Construction costs. If the owner wants to enclose a rectangular area of 12 , 100 12,100 12 , 100 square feet as in Problem 35 35 35 , what are the dimensions of the area that requires the least fencing? How many feet of fencing are required?

Identify the following as either an advantage (A) or a disadvantage (D) of bond financing for a company.

‾ \underline{\qquad\qquad} ​ a. Bonds do not affect owner control.

‾ \underline{\qquad\qquad} ​ b. A company earns a lower return with borrowed funds than it pays in interest.

‾ \underline{\qquad\qquad} ​ c. A company earns a higher return with borrowed funds than it pays in interest.

‾ \underline{\qquad\qquad} ​ d. Bonds require payment of periodic interest.

‾ \underline{\qquad\qquad} ​ e. Interest on bonds is tax deductible.

‾ \underline{\qquad\qquad} ​ f. Bonds require payment of par value at maturity.

Analyze the following activity and explain if it is more likely to be provided as a public good or a private good.

Day Company had bonds outstanding with a maturity value of $300,000. On April 30, 2020, when these bonds had an unamortized discount of$10,000, they were called in at 104. To pay for these bonds, Day had issued other bonds a month earlier bearing a lower interest rate. The newly issued bonds had a life of 10 years. The new bonds were issued at 103 (face value $300,000).


Ignoring interest, compute the gain or loss and record this refunding transaction.

Recommended textbook solutions

Human Resource Management 15th Edition by John David Jackson, Patricia Meglich, Robert Mathis, Sean Valentine

Human Resource Management

Information Technology Project Management: Providing Measurable Organizational Value 5th Edition by Jack T. Marchewka

Information Technology Project Management: Providing Measurable Organizational Value

Service Management: Operations, Strategy, and Information Technology 7th Edition by James Fitzsimmons, Mona Fitzsimmons

Service Management: Operations, Strategy, and Information Technology

Information Technology Project Management: Providing Measurable Organizational Value 5th Edition by Jack T. Marchewka

Other Quizlet sets

Ifsta essentials of fire fighting 7th edition….

Profile Picture

Exam review

FutureLearn uses cookies to enhance your experience of the website. All but strictly necessary cookies are currently disabled for this browser. Turn on JavaScript to exercise your cookie preferences for all non-essential cookies. You can read FutureLearn's Cookie policy here .

task environment law

Learn more about this course.

Task environment classification, share this post.


Want to keep learning, an introduction to artificial intelligence in the tourism industry.

task environment law

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas. You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education

Register to receive updates

Create an account to receive our newsletter, course recommendations and promotions.

task environment law


The Task Environment

The Task Environment is the entire work environment inside a business or company which includes the actors engaged in production, distribution, and promotion. The companies, suppliers, distributors, dealers, and target customers - anyone and everyone directly involved in the workings of the business is included in the task environment itself. 

In terms of the suppliers, material and service suppliers such as marketing research agencies, advertising agencies, banking and insurance companies, transportation companies, and telecommunications companies comprise the environment. 

Distributors and dealers include agents, brokers , manufacturer representatives, and others who facilitate finding and selling to customers and they too are a vital part of the environment. 

Parts of Task Environment

Task environments can be categorized into the two parts listed below - 

The quality of the task environment within any organization often depends on the cooperative mindset of the employees and the considerate ways of the employers that make the environment harmonious.

Use of the Term in Sentences

Related Terms

Cite the term

Proper citation formating styles of this definition for your bibliography.

More from this Section

Recent Article

Newsletter Subscription


The Definition




Alan Romero, an environmental scientist with the New Mexico Environment Department, holds a bottle as colleague Aracely Tellez takes a sample of a mystery liquid Friday during a training in Albuquerque on how to wear and use a level B hazmat suit. The state department is working with the federal EPA and law enforcement agencies to put together an environmental task force.

Alan Romero, left, an environmental scientist with the New Mexico Environment Department, tapes up the gloves on Aracely Tellez's hazmat suit.

Instructor Jeffrey Biedenbach helps Aracely Tellez, an environmental scientist with the state Environment Department, put on her mask Friday as he conducts hazmat training.

Aracely Tellez opens a container of mystery fluid Friday during hazmat training.

The new task force aims to share information and avoid conflicts that come with jurisdictional boundaries.

Environmental agencies, law enforcement building task force

Scott wyland.

The people who investigate environmental crimes just got a new set of partners: traditional law enforcement.

State environmental inspectors checking sites for potential code violations also will ferret out other crimes being committed, including federal ones, under a newly formed task force that aims to share information and avoid conflicts that come with jurisdictional boundaries.

It’s an effort to move away from compartmentalized enforcement in which agencies focus strictly on their regulations while missing other types of rule-breaking and criminal behavior.

The state Environment Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are leading the task force composed of state, federal and tribal agencies, with plans of bringing more into the fold to broaden the policing.

This kind of cooperative effort creates a larger intelligence network and lessens the potential for siloed enforcement, officials say.

“If I don’t have jurisdiction over problems that I can resolve, it gives me the ability to then hand that off to other agencies, and vice versa,” state Environment Secretary James Kenney said in an interview.

Task force members include the state Game and Fish Department, the state Land Office, the FBI, the state Attorney General, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Navajo Nation Justice Department.

Kenney said he has wanted for years to team up with EPA to launch an environmental crimes task force. The Trump administration’s EPA had no interest in it, but the agency under President Joe Biden got behind the idea, he said.

In a statement, Kim Bahney, special agent in charge of EPA’s criminal investigations in the region, noted the value of such a partnership.

“This task force is being created to curb environmental crime in the state of New Mexico and neighboring tribal territories,” Behney said. “Public health and the environment should not suffer at the hands of deliberate polluters.”

Agencies will meet at least once a month to ensure they’re on the same page, check on how well the partnership is working and discuss what can be done better.

This interagency coordination will ensure environmental lawbreakers are held accountable and prosecuted to protect New Mexico’s wildlife and natural resources, Darren Vaughan, state Game and Fish spokesman, wrote in an email.

“It will provide for better information sharing and communication among agencies that have the authority and jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute environmental law offenders,” Vaughan wrote, adding that it’s critical to “keep New Mexico the beautiful state it is for current and future generations.”

Sidney Hill, spokesman for the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, agreed the task force will strengthen the cooperative effort between the various agencies.

“It just makes sense that the more agencies and individuals you have focusing on an issue, the less likely it is that problems will go undetected,” Hill wrote in an email.

Kenney said his inspectors will have to be trained on environmental laws as well as regulations outside his agency’s purview so they know what to watch out for.

“If you’re not looking for environmental crimes, you will never find one,” Kenney said.

For example, if an inspector checks to see whether a company is complying with hazardous waste rules but observes a chop shop where crews are dismantling stolen cars and releasing air-conditioner refrigerants into the atmosphere, that inspector would know to report the crimes to the proper authorities, he said.

If they encounter unlawful water pollution that impacts endangered species, they would notify the state and federal wildlife agencies, he said.

Inspectors also will be trained to have more of a law enforcement mentality in catching criminal activities, Kenney said.

That could mean showing up to a site an hour before the scheduled walk-through to see if the owner is loading waste into a truck to haul away, he said. Or they should look carefully to make sure recorded data adds up, he said, recalling a time when a company claimed to make required multisite repairs in a time frame that was impossible.

Falsifying reports is illegal, and mailing them to an enforcement agency constitutes mail fraud — a federal crime, Kenney said.

In an email, an FBI official wrote the bureau was glad to join the team to help bring those who break federal environmental laws to justice.

“While the FBI has a reputation for catching violent criminals, spies, and computer hackers, another one of our important but lesser-known responsibilities is investigating those who abuse or endanger our nation’s natural resources,” wrote Raul Bujanda, the special agent who oversees the FBI’s Albuquerque Division.

The FBI uses its same methods to solve these crimes, such as sending special agents to interview victims or assisting partners with digital forensics on a complex case, Bujanda wrote.

Kenney said it’s important to not let criminals get away with violating the law, not only because of the environmental effects but also because of the unfair playing field it creates for people who invest the time, money and energy to comply with the law.

He said he hopes to bring in other federal agencies, such as the the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to help deal with environmental crimes on public and tribal lands.

Having this many state and federal agencies working together in New Mexico to protect the environment is a milestone, but the purpose ultimately is to make bad actors pay for their crimes, Kenney said.

“Our goal isn’t to coordinate; our goal is to prosecute,” Kenney said. “It’s not that we need new laws. We need to enforce the laws we already have.”

Get email notifications on {{subject}} daily!


Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

Followed notifications

Please log in to use this feature, most popular.

Predictions: Horsemen go all the way; Demons upset everyone

Sorry, there are no recent results for popular videos.


Single-family, built-to-rent is coming, sooner than you think, the thin blue line deals in a shade of gray, judge khalsa, your apology rings hollow.

task environment law

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Breaking News

Special offers & promotions.

Sorry , an error occurred.

Stay informed of the latest local news by receiving emails as soon as news is posted online.

Receive a list of headlines from the latest edition of The New Mexican in your inbox every morning.

Contests and special offers from The Santa Fe New Mexican and advertising partners.

You're all set!

Thank you .

Your account has been registered, and you are now logged in.

Check your email for details.

Invalid password or account does not exist

Reset Password

Submitting this form below will send a message to your email with a link to change your password.

Forgot Password

An email message containing instructions on how to reset your password has been sent to the e-mail address listed on your account.

Email me a log in link

Purchase access.

Secure & Encrypted

Secure transaction. Cancel anytime.

Your purchase was successful, and you are now logged in.

A receipt was sent to your email.

An error occurred


Chapter 70A.02 RCW

Environmental justice, pdf rcw 70a.02.005, pdf rcw 70a.02.010, definitions., pdf rcw 70a.02.020, environmental justice obligations for all agencies., pdf rcw 70a.02.030, authority of other agencies to opt in to environmental justice obligations., pdf rcw 70a.02.040, incorporating environmental justice into agency strategic plans., pdf rcw 70a.02.050, equitable community engagement and public participation., pdf rcw 70a.02.060, environmental justice assessment., pdf rcw 70a.02.070, obligation of a covered agency — does not trigger chapter 43.21c rcw requirements., pdf rcw 70a.02.080, environmental justice obligations of agencies relating to budgets and funding., pdf rcw 70a.02.090, reporting requirements., pdf rcw 70a.02.100, tribal consultation., pdf rcw 70a.02.110, environmental justice council., pdf rcw 70a.02.120, legal obligations., pdf rcw 70a.02.130.

Data, analysis, convening and action.

The world’s largest and most diverse environmental network.



IUCN tools, publications and other resources.

Get involved

World Commission on Environmental Law

WCEL works to enhance the development and strengthen the implementation of environmental law and policy. 

content featured image

Advancing environmental law in the Pacific

 About & How We Engage

WCEL works to enhance the development and strengthen the implementation of environmental law and policy, including through best practices and inter-sectoral strategies for effective compliance and enforcement. WCEL promotes the environmental rule of law globally, particularly in countries that seek to improve their law and governance systems. WCEL aims to strengthen the capacity of governments, the judiciary, prosecutors, law schools and other stakeholders as they develop and implement environmental law.

Heading 900+ members

a global network of environmental law and policy experts from all regions of the world

Heading 8 specialist groups

working on biodiversity, climate change, early career, ethics, oceans, peace, security & conflict, soils & sustainable agriculture, water and wetlands

Heading 4 task forces

on a Model Forest Act, on the Agreement on Plastic Pollution, on the Global Judicial Institute on the Environment, and on the Right of Nature

Our mandate

We work closely with the IUCN Secretariat, IUCN’s Regional Offices, other Commissions, and IUCN members to realise the Union’s One Programme Charter. Our work is based on the WCEL Mandate 2021-2024. 

WCEL membership

WCEL is a collection of individual volunteers who make up the Commission membership.

After applying for membership, the relevant Regional Vice Chair will review the application and where additional information is required, will be contacted. 

media thumbnail

Commission leadership

The Steering Committee governs the activities of WCEL. It is composed of the Commission Chair, the Deputy Chair, members, chairs emeriti and ex officio members. 

Chrstina Voigt, WCEL Commission chair

Dr. Christina Voigt, Chair

Dr. Christina Voigt is Professor of Law at the University of Oslo, Norway. She is an expert in international environmental law i.e., climate change, multilateralism and sustainability. 

quote icon

Law is the governance tool to translate science into action and to bring about systemic change. WCEL will work to promote and enhance the environmental rule of law to support such change.

Dr. Ayman Cherkaoui

Dr. Ayman Cherkaoui, Deputy Chair

Mr. Ayman Cherkaoui is the Coordinator for the Mohammed VI Prize for the Climate and Sustainable Development as well as Strategic Development Officer at the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental ...

Mr. Ayman Cherkaoui is the Coordinator for the Mohammed VI Prize for the Climate and Sustainable Development as well as Strategic Development Officer at the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection. 

University of Oslo

WCEL successfully hosted its 3rd International Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oslo. The conference focused on the Transformative Power of Law: Addressing Global Environmental Challenges.


Sign up for an IUCN newsletter

The Home Office

New hostile environment policies show Windrush lessons ‘not been learned’

Immigration experts scathing about Home Office plans to tighten access to services for people without legal status

Home Office plans to reheat “thoroughly discredited” hostile environment policies show the government has not learned lessons from the Windrush scandal, immigration experts have said.

A taskforce to crack down on illegal immigration is being set up, the Home Office announced on Sunday. As well as blocking access to banking for those without immigration status, it intends to find new ways of checking individuals’ immigration status when they use schools or the NHS.

The immigration minister Robert Jenrick is leading an intradepartmental group to limit many services for those without status. A tightening of access to rented housing, bank accounts, healthcare, education, driving licences and public funds will all be looked at.

Jacqueline McKenzie, who represented many of the original Windrush victims and is a partner at the law firm Leigh Day, said: “The hostile environment never really went away but, for outward appearances, the language was changed. But it is distressing nevertheless to hear of a formal resumption of the ideas.”

She added: “Given that the Windrush scandal is far from resolved, this is not the time for the government to be reinstating the very systems and policies which have been thoroughly discredited.”

Jenrick said: “Illegal working causes untold harm to communities, cheating honest workers of employment, putting vulnerable people at risk and defrauding the public purse. Our immigration enforcement teams are working to bring those violating our laws to justice. It’s our priority to crack down on this crime and empower law enforcement to remove illegal migrants.”

However, 21 trade unions have also accused the government of allowing further exploitation of migrant workers and undocumented people by returning to hostile environment policies.

Unison, the UK’s biggest trade union, and the PCS union, the biggest public sector union, are among those to have written to the government claiming that its policies, along with its temporary visa schemes, will put migrant workers at increased risk of abuse.

Commenting on the latest rhetoric, McKenzie said: “Once again, a home secretary wants to place non-state actors in a position of snooping and passing on information which they hold in confidence. In arguing that there’s a need to check on illegal working, the government is peddling the idea that migrants are stealing the jobs of British people, but have not offered any evidence or data to support their claim.”

The power to suspend bank accounts was halted in the wake of the Windrush scandal. A government watchdog found in 2017 that one in 10 people refused a bank account because of a failed immigration check were wrongly denied access.

A decision to reintroduce the checks was signalled by Rishi Sunak last month, when he pledged to improve the backlog in asylum cases.

Daniel Sohege, director of the human rights group Stand For All, said: “These measures only end up denying people security, and leading to more being pushed into precarious positions, which can leave them vulnerable to becoming undocumented and even exploited. When you have an error rate as high as was seen last time these types of measures were tried, the inevitable outcome is disenfranchising innocent people.”

after newsletter promotion

Sohege said the latest announcement was an attempt to deflect from serious problems facing the country, such as the cost of living crisis and the challenges in the NHS.

“It’s a desperate move to try and avoid dealing with actually important issues, while attempting to appear to be taking some form of action,” he said. “The irony being that immigration is essential in resolving the very issues, such as staffing shortages, which the government is using this renewed hostile environment to avoid talking about.”

Stephen Kinnock, the shadow immigration minister, said: “Each time the Conservatives ramp up the rhetoric they end up making things worse. They have broken our asylum system – as shown by the fact that they have failed to stop child migrants being kidnapped from hotels by criminal gangs, with 79 still missing from one Sussex hotel alone. Their chaos is feeding criminality and exploitation. We know from the Windrush scandal that they can’t be trusted to put proper safeguards in. They are also failing to clamp down on employers who are exploiting migrant workers, having failed to set up the single employment enforcement authority that they promised in their 2019 manifesto – which Labour and trade unions have called for.”

Rob McNeil, deputy director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, said: “Many of the original ‘hostile environment’ policies, introduced by Theresa May a decade ago, are still in place – sanctions on landlords who rent to irregular migrants and to employers who take on workers without proof of their legal status, for example. There is also little evidence that many of the punitive measures actually deter irregular migration or compel irregular migrants to leave the UK.

“Analysis by the government’s Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration found evidence that some of these policies contributed to discrimination toward many migrants and minority communities in the UK perfectly legally. One outcome of this was the Windrush scandal.”

The Home Office has been approached for comment.

Most viewed

Over the past year DOJ's Task Force Kleptocapture has been extremely busy

Ryan Lucas in 2018

A Justice Department task force targeting Kremlin-aligned Russian oligarchs has seized more than $500 million of their riches — including everything from luxury yachts to opulent homes.


A year ago, the Justice Department unleashed a task force to target allies of Russia's President Vladimir Putin and their riches, from luxury yachts to opulent homes. NPR justice correspondent Ryan Lucas brings us this update.

RYAN LUCAS, BYLINE: Less than a week after Russian tanks swept across the Ukrainian border, Attorney General Merrick Garland stood at the podium at the Justice Department to announce the creation of Task Force KleptoCapture. Its mission, he said, was to hold accountable Russian oligarchs trying to evade sanctions the U.S. and its allies had imposed in response to the Kremlin's invasion.


MERRICK GARLAND: We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to investigate, arrest and prosecute those whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue this unjust war.

LUCAS: And over the past year, the task force has kept busy. It's brought charges against at least 35 individuals and corporate entities, a list that includes Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire who's been accused of sanctions violations. It's also brought charges against suspected Russian intelligence officers and individuals working with them to allegedly obtain advanced American technology that could be used by the Russian military.

LISA MONACO: We thought it was really important to go after, in the first instance, those individuals whose corruption has fueled the Russian war machine.

LUCAS: That's Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

MONACO: And to send a very clear signal that we could work quickly with our partners and that we could set a pace for enforcement of these sanctions.

LUCAS: Part of that enforcement work has involved seizing some of the big-ticket items that Kremlin-aligned oligarchs have reaped from their allegedly ill-gotten gains. Last May, for example, the FBI assisted authorities in Fiji to seize a 348-foot luxury yacht that the U.S. says belongs to sanctioned oligarch Suleiman Kerimov. The $300 million vessel now sits at a dock in San Diego. And just last week, the department filed a forfeiture complaint for six properties worth an estimated $75 million in New York and Florida belonging to another oligarch. In all, Monaco tells NPR, the task force has seized, forfeited or otherwise restrained more than half a billion dollars in Russian oligarch assets over the past year. And the task force, she says, has now entered a second phase.

MONACO: Which is to go after the enablers, the facilitators, the companies that prop up and enable and facilitate the ability of these oligarchs to hide their wealth, to shield it, to evade sanctions.

LUCAS: A prime example of targeting so-called enablers is the case against Deripaska, who's been sanctioned for his alleged ties to the Putin regime. Deripaska and three women have been charged with conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions. Part of the alleged scheme involved arranging for Deripaska's Russian girlfriend to give birth in the United States. Deripaska's U.S. attorney, Erich Ferrari, declined to comment on the case. But Ferrari says his office is fielding calls on a daily basis from Russians with sanctions-related questions.

ERICH FERRARI: It's been a huge jump. And I would say our caseload has doubled over the last year.

LUCAS: Some of the callers want advice on how to comply with sanctions, he says. Others are looking for help to get out from under the punitive measures. While the task force and the broader international effort has imposed a degree of discomfort on Kremlin-aligned oligarchs, there's little indication that it's prompted them to pressure Putin to pull back in Ukraine, as some Western policymakers had hoped. In part, says Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment, that's because the people who matter most in Russia are those in charge of large, armed bureaucracies, like the army, the security services and the police.

ALEXANDER GABUEV: Everybody else is exactly people with means but without any protection from the system and just too afraid to be thrown into jail.

LUCAS: Back in the U.S., meanwhile, the Justice Department is moving forward with the first-ever transfer to Ukraine of money seized from a sanctioned oligarch. It's just over $5 million, which is, of course, a drop in the ocean of Ukraine's needs at the moment. But Monaco says it's just a start of putting oligarch riches to the benefit of the Ukrainian people.

Ryan Lucas, NPR News, Washington.

Copyright © 2023 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.


  1. Task, Threat, & Environment: The Mindset of a Protective Services Professional

    task environment law

  2. Print Chapter 4 *Managing the global environment* flashcards

    task environment law

  3. 😀 General and task environment. Management: What is Organizational Environment? Discuss Various

    task environment law

  4. 😂 Task environment. Conda Environment task. 2019-01-09

    task environment law

  5. 💋 General and task environment. Management: What is Organizational Environment? Discuss Various

    task environment law

  6. 👍 Task environment examples. Task Environment. 2019-02-19

    task environment law


  1. Task Environment Concept & Examples

    The task environment refers to the external factors of the business environment. This environment is also known by other names such as operating environment and microenvironment. A...

  2. Environmental Law: Government and Public Policy Towards the Environment

    What is Environmental Law? Humanity has been aware of its environment far longer than there have been laws to protect environments. Environmental law, or sometimes known as environmental and natural resources law, is a term used to explain regulations, statutes, local, national and international legislation, and treaties designed to protect the environment from damage and to explain the legal ...

  3. TASK ENVIRONMENT Definition & Meaning

    TASK ENVIRONMENT Definition & Meaning - Black's Law Dictionary TASK ENVIRONMENT Definition & Legal Meaning Definition & Citations: An organization's external environment affecting its ability to reach its business goals.

  4. Federal Laws

    Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) CERCLA, also known as Superfund, is a law that placed a tax on certain businesses in industries engaged in work with hazardous materials.

  5. Task Environment

    Task Environment Marketing dictionary Task Environment External environment of an organization which affects its ability to reach business goals. Any business or consumer with direct involvement with an organization may be part of the task environment.

  6. General Environment: Definition & Effect on Task Environment

    The task environment, which consists of a company's ability to acquire necessary materials, such as products for making the clothing, or revenue from sales and their ability to deliver outputs...

  7. What Is a Task Environment?

    An organization's task environment is the collection of factors that affects its ability to achieve goals. Common factors in the task environment include competitors, customers, suppliers and distributors. By identifying potential factors that could impede success, the organization has the ability to adapt.

  8. Task Environment

    Task Environment of an organization is the environment which directly affects the organization from attaining business goals. In brief, Task Environment is the set of conditions originating from suppliers, distributors, customers, stock markets and competitors which directly affects the organization from achieving its goals.

  9. Environmental Justice

    Oregon's environmental justice law, established in 2008, requires state natural resource agencies - including DEQ and 13 other agencies - to follow prescribed steps to provide greater public participation and ensure involvement of people who may be affected by agency actions.

  10. Strengthening environmental rule of law for sustainable development

    Environmental rule of law is essential for the right to a healthy environment, which is in turn essential for the sustainable development agenda. We need effective institutions that support public participation and access to information and justice, particularly for vulnerable communities. Judges, of course, are at the heart of the law.

  11. Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

    In an increasingly interdependent world, the climate and biodiversity crises are, more than ever, inextricably tied to human health and the transmission of infectious diseases. The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has irrevocably shown us that the exploitation of wild species and deforestation increases and modifies the interface between people and wildlife, leading to a spillover of diseases from ...

  12. Workers' Right to Refuse Dangerous Work

    Remain at the worksite until ordered to leave by your employer. If your employer retaliates against you for refusing to perform the dangerous work, contact OSHA immediately. Complaints of retaliation must be made to OSHA within 30 days of the alleged reprisal. To contact OSHA call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) and ask to be connected to your closest ...

  13. CHAPTER 3 Flashcards

    the external environment technology technology The ______ is characterized by the most general elements in the external environment, such as governments and economic conditions, that can influence strategic decisions. organizational culture competitive environment regulatory climate macroenvironment macroenvironment

  14. Task environment classification

    The task environments can be: . Fully observable / Partially observable . Single agent / Multiple agents . Deterministic / Non-deterministic . Episodic / Non-episodic . Static / Dynamic . Discrete / Continuous . Known / Unknown . The video will explain all these terms using different examples.

  15. The Task Environment

    The Task Environment is the entire work environment inside a business or company which includes the actors engaged in production, distribution, and promotion. The companies, suppliers, distributors, dealers, and target customers - anyone and everyone directly involved in the workings of the business is included in the task environment itself.

  16. Environmental agencies, law enforcement building task force

    The state Environment Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are leading the task force composed of state, federal and tribal agencies, with plans of bringing more into the...


    Environmental justice obligations of agencies relating to budgets and funding. (1) With consideration of the guidelines issued by the council in RCW 70A.02.110, and in iterative consultation with the council, each covered agency must incorporate environmental justice principles into its decision processes for budget development, making ...

  18. World Commission on Environmental Law

    WCEL promotes the environmental rule of law globally, particularly in countries that seek to improve their law and governance systems. WCEL aims to strengthen the capacity of governments, the judiciary, prosecutors, law schools and other stakeholders as they develop and implement environmental law. 900+ members

  19. New hostile environment policies show Windrush lessons 'not been

    A taskforce to crack down on illegal immigration is being set up, the Home Office announced on Sunday. As well as blocking access to banking for those without immigration status, it intends to find...

  20. Over the past year DOJ's Task Force Kleptocapture has been extremely

    LUCAS: And over the past year, the task force has kept busy. It's brought charges against at least 35 individuals and corporate entities, a list that includes Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire ...