Apr 18, 2024  
2016-2017 Catalog 
2016-2017 Catalog [PAST CATALOG]

LGS 225 - Environmental Law and Policy

3 credit hours - Three hours weekly; one term.
Understand the practical balance between environmental laws, policies and societal values and how environmental protections are often a dynamic fusion of these factors. Learn the differences between environmental laws and policies and discuss and debate how applicable case laws, statutes, administrative agency rules and regulations impact national, state and local issues affecting the environment. Gain insight into how core legal principles interplay with policy considerations and case law coupled with local statutes form an interlacing framework of policies and legal protections that ultimately determine, influence and define the “environment” as we know it. Lab fee $5.

Prerequisite(s): Eligibility for ENG 111  or ENG 115  or ENG 121 .

Note: This course is not considered a legal specialty course for the purpose of earning legal specialty credits in the Paralegal Studies program. However, it may be applied as a general elective in the Paralegal Studies degree program as noted in the program description. Please see an adviser before registering for this course.

Course Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the differences between environmental laws and policies
    • Define the scope and reach of environmental laws
    • Define the scope and reach of environmental policies
    • Explain the practical and conceptual differences between environmental
      laws and policies
  • Explain basic legal terminology and concepts
    • Define common legal terms, including complaint, answer, motion, class action suit,
      stare decisis, res judicata, standing, appeal
    • Identify the differences between civil and criminal actions
    • Chart and identify the American court system
  • Explain how to brief a case
    • Locate state and federal case laws
    • Identify the elements of a case brief
    • Identify facts, issues, rules, analysis, decision
    • Compare issues and court reasoning in several cases
    • Prepare and discuss environmental law case briefs
  • Describe legal citation and research techniques and resources
    • Identify proper citation format for referencing legal resources
    • Identify legal resources, including state and federal reporters, restatements of law,
      journals, COMAR, Code of Federal Regulations
    • Explain how to conduct research using legal resources
    • Explain the differences between primary and secondary resources
    • Explain basic online legal research
  • Identify public trust doctrine, land use and constitutional protections
    • Explain “who owns the environment”
    • Identify issues of private property rights
    • Explain how the Constitution and policies influence ownership of natural resources
    • Describe zoning and its implications on the environment
    • Describe “takings” under the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
    • Explain how American notions of property and resource ownership differ from
      culture to culture
    • Debate restraints on land ownership
  • Identify the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and NEPA
    • Explain the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and NEPA
    • Examine the structure of these laws and the scope of federal powers
    • Explain the policy basis for Federal Preemption and the Commerce Clause in the context of
      federal regulation
    • Explain the role of citizen lawsuits in enforcing the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and NEPA
    • Explain and debate “Why we are not cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay”
  • Describe Environmental torts and nuisance
    • Define environmental torts
    • Define environmental nuisances
    • Describe “environmental justice” and its relationship to poverty, class and the environment
    • Debate the causes and economic impact of and the solutions to pollution
    • Identify future trends in environmental protection
Core Competencies
Core 1 Communication Core 3 Information Literacy Core 5 Self Management Core 6 Scientific Reasoning Core 8 Social and Civic Responsibility Core 9 Global Perspective Core 10 Innovative and Critical Thinking