Environmental Law

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was passed in 1970 along with the Environmental Quality Improvement Act, the Environmental Education Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The main objective of these federal enactments was to assure that the environment be protected against both public and private actions that failed to take account of costs or harms inflicted on the eco-system.

The EPA was supposed to monitor and analyze the environment, conduct research, and work closely with state and local governments to devise pollution control policies. NEPA has been described as one of Congress' most far reaching environmental legislation ever passed. The basic purpose of NEPA is to force governmental agencies to consider the effects on the environment of their decisions.

State laws also reflect the same concerns and common law actions in nuisance allow adversely affected property owners to seek a judicial remedy for environmental harms.

Some of the areas litigated under environmental laws include groundwater and drinking water contamination; Brownfields (the redevelopment of contaminated properties); Superfund cases; permitting and compliance matters (including governmental agency challenges); hazardous substance discharges; wetlands; CAFRA, regulatory "takings" matters, and toxic torts.