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Volume 14, Issue 1 — January 1984

Articles

Beyond Mitigation—Restoring Federally Damaged Salmon Runs Under the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program

by Michael C. Blumm

Editors' Summary: Federal resource development projects often ignore and sometimes even degrade fish and wildlife resources. In the Columbia Basin, for example, federal dams have severely reduced salmon populations by destroying spawning habitats and impeding migration. A novel fish and wildlife program developed under the Pacific Northwest Electric Power and Planning Conservation Act will go far to redress the injury to fish runs. Mr. Blumm discusses the Act and the fish and wildlife program, which may serve as models for wildlife enhancement programs in other regions of the country.

Caveat Emptor: The Impact of Superfund and Related Laws on Real Estate Transactions

by Samuel A. Bleicher and Benjamin G. Stonelake Jr.

Editors' Summary: Environmental law has invaded the world of real estate transactions. When federal or state governments come to collect the costs of cleaning up unsafe hazardous waste sites, as statutory and common law authorize them to do, they may well stop at the door of the current landowner. The desire to avoid hidden liabilities has made hazardous waste law required reading for prospective purchasers and security holders of commercial real estate. The authors, environmental lawyers who have counseled clients buying and selling real estate containing hazardous waste, outline the sources of landowner liability for hazardous waste pollution and suggest steps that will help commercial real estate purchasers avoid hazardous waste liability. They conclude that the emergence of new statutory and common law governing liability for toxic waste pollution has not made landowners more likely to be liabile, but has greatly magnified the scope of the potential liability. Some states have tried to address the problem with statutes requiring registration of hazardous waste sites on deeds, but the authors counsel prospective purchasers to take additional protective steps, ranging from consulting environmental counsel to considering alternatives to outright purchase of the land.

Comment(s)

Congress in 1983: Much Oversight, Little Legislation

by Kenneth L. Rosenbaum

Editors' Summary: This Comment surveys the environmental activity of the first session of the 98th Congress. Congress' oversight of the executive branch contributed to headline-grabbing changes in the administration of federal programs. But while busy checking the initiatives of the Reagan Administration, Congress enacted no major new environmental laws, despite proposals before it in the areas of air quality, water quality, hazardous waste, toxics, nuclear energy, public lands, and natural resources. Several of the proposals, notably the bills to reauthorize the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, made real progress and await further action in the second session.

Dialogue

Legislative Outook in the Senate: Finishing Unfinished Business

by Philip Cummings

Editors' Summary: As Congress begins the second session of the 98th Congress, we assess both the results of the first session (see Comment, 14 ELR 10005) and the prospects for the second. For the latter task, a crystal-ball gazing exercise, we have enlisted the help of two of the sharpest-eyed observers of congressional trends available: Philip Cummings, Minority Counsel for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Bud Ward, Editor of The Environmental Forum. Mr. Cummings analyzes the chances for Senate action; Mr. Ward those in the House.

Legislative Outlook in the House: Only RCRA Amendments Likely

by Bud Ward

Editors' Summary: As Congress begins the second session of the 98th Congress, we assess both the results of the first session (see Comment, 14 ELR 10005) and the prospects for the second. For the latter task, a crystal-ball gazing exercise, we have enlisted the help of two of the sharpest-eyed observers of congressional trends available: Philip Cummings, Minority Counsel for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and Bud Ward, Editor of The Environmental Forum. Mr. Cummings analyzes the chances for Senate action; Mr. Ward those in the House.