ELI Primary Menu

Skip to main content

Issue

Volume 35, Issue 1 — January 2005

Articles

Environmental Management Systems and NEPA: A Framework for Productive Harmony

by Edward A. Boling

An environmental management system (EMS) is a systematic approach to identifying and managing an organization's environmental obligations and issues that can complement many aspects of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process. An EMS is a "set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency." As such, EMS is a promising means of bringing progressive private-sector environmental management techniques to federal agency management. The growing use of EMS in federal agencies has been fostered and supported by a series of Executive Orders and policy statements. To date, the experience has been somewhat limited and, typically, federal facility-specific. However, the expanded use of EMS not only promises to improve the environmental performance of federal agencies but to help federal agencies focus on improvement of their environmental performance, which is--under NEPA--an integral component of every agency's mission.

The Hydrogen Economy and Its Potential Impacts

by Arnold W. Reitze, Jr. and Jennifer B. Heaven

I. Introduction

Air pollution emissions that prevent many areas of the country from achieving the Clean Air Act's (CAA's) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) could be reduced if cleaner sources of energy were utilized. Clean energy supplied by domestic sources also could provide benefits to the overall environment, the economy and to national security. President George W. Bush announced in his 2003 State of the Union Address that his Administration believes hydrogen fuel should help provide for the future energy needs of the United States. The Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have declared their goal is to use hydrogen in vehicles by 2015 and to implement a "hydrogen economy," with the necessary infrastructure to make, transport, store, and use hydrogen as a fuel for fuel cell vehicles by 2020. This will be a substantial challenge because in 2002, there were 518, alternative vehicles in use in the United States, but none used hydrogen.

Hydrogen usually serves as an energy carrier that is derived from some other primary fuel. The existing infrastructure for petroleum-based fuels is unlikely to accommodate hydrogen fuel; a new infrastructure will take many years to build, and the effort will be expensive and politically difficult to accomplish. Without the necessary infrastructure, investors will be wary about supporting this technology. Moreover, the transport and storage of hydrogen is potentially dangerous; containment methods are prone to leak and present safety risks.

The Origin and Demise of New Jersey's Open Market Emissions Trading Program

by Devin DeMarco

On August 2, 1996, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) promulgated rules governing its Open Market Emissions Trading (OMET) program. With a goal to provide industry with a greater degree of flexibility in meeting federal air compliance directives and simultaneously support the state's progress toward the attainment of federal air standards, this program has now been terminated following scrutiny from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmental groups, and a new NJDEP administration.

This Article discusses the basis for this scrutiny and other program flaws discovered through interviews with, and public comments from, NJDEP and EPA officials, industry representatives, environmental advocates, and former members of the New Jersey State Legislature. The results of this work are also placed against the political background that gave rise to open market trading in New Jersey, and may have hindered the program's success. Finally, recommendations are offered for future open market trading (OMT) programs that may help to prevent some of the shortcomings witnessed in New Jersey's initiative.

Equitable and Reasonable Use of Water Within the Euphrates-Tigris River Basin

by Elizabeth Burleson

I. Introduction

The principle of subsidiarity suggests that issues should be dealt with at the level upon which they can be resolved most effectively. Sharing water resources from international watercourses requires coordination among nations. The greater their interdependence, the more urgent it becomes for countries to cooperate. Within the framework of the United Nations, subsidiarity requires Parties to try to settle disputes through peaceful means. Will dynamic approaches to sharing water be able to overcome Middle Eastern animosity over the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers? Sustainable watershed management involves understanding a given drainage basin, making informed decisions, and implementing egalitarian agreements between upstream and downstream riparians. Once the "cradle of civilization," Mesopotamia thrived upon human ingenuity and stewardship of water. Euphrates-Tigris River Basin States can avert conflict over increasing water scarcity by crafting integrated water resources measures based on equitable and sustainable utilization.

While water is one of the most abundant substances on the globe, humans can use less than 0.01% of the water in the world. The United Nations (U.N.) Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) notes that, "[i]n the past hundred years, the world population has tripled while world demand for water has increased sevenfold." U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan points out that, "one person in six lives without regular access to safe drinking water." According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately 10% of the world's freshwater is used domestically, 20% by industry, and 70% by agriculture.

The Origin and Demise of New Jersey's Open Market Emissions Trading Program

by Devin DeMarco

On August 2, 1996, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) promulgated rules governing its Open Market Emissions Trading (OMET) program. With a goal to provide industry with a greater degree of flexibility in meeting federal air compliance directives and simultaneously support the state's progress toward the attainment of federal air standards, this program has now been terminated following scrutiny from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmental groups, and a new NJDEP administration.

This Article discusses the basis for this scrutiny and other program flaws discovered through interviews with, and public comments from, NJDEP and EPA officials, industry representatives, environmental advocates, and former members of the New Jersey State Legislature. The results of this work are also placed against the political background that gave rise to open market trading in New Jersey, and may have hindered the program's success. Finally, recommendations are offered for future open market trading (OMT) programs that may help to prevent some of the shortcomings witnessed in New Jersey's initiative.

Equitable and Reasonable Use of Water Within the Euphrates-Tigris River Basin

by Elizabeth Burleson

I. Introduction

The principle of subsidiarity suggests that issues should be dealt with at the level upon which they can be resolved most effectively. Sharing water resources from international watercourses requires coordination among nations. The greater their interdependence, the more urgent it becomes for countries to cooperate. Within the framework of the United Nations, subsidiarity requires Parties to try to settle disputes through peaceful means. Will dynamic approaches to sharing water be able to overcome Middle Eastern animosity over the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers? Sustainable watershed management involves understanding a given drainage basin, making informed decisions, and implementing egalitarian agreements between upstream and downstream riparians. Once the "cradle of civilization," Mesopotamia thrived upon human ingenuity and stewardship of water. Euphrates-Tigris River Basin States can avert conflict over increasing water scarcity by crafting integrated water resources measures based on equitable and sustainable utilization.

While water is one of the most abundant substances on the globe, humans can use less than 0.01% of the water in the world. The United Nations (U.N.) Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) notes that, "[i]n the past hundred years, the world population has tripled while world demand for water has increased sevenfold." U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan points out that, "one person in six lives without regular access to safe drinking water." According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately 10% of the world's freshwater is used domestically, 20% by industry, and 70% by agriculture.

Pesticides and Water Don't Mix: Addressing the Need to Close a Regulatory Gap Between FIFRA an the CWA

by Randall S. Abate and Matthew T. Stanger

The failure to adequately regulate the application of pesticides over and into water bodies is a troubling example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing in federal environmental regulation. Under existing federal law, pesticide applicators who comply with the requirements of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) may then proceed to apply such FIFRAregulated pesticides in a manner that may constitute a violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Moreover, the CWA does not contain any provisions, or enumerate any exceptions, pertaining to the application of FIFRA-regulated pesticides that reach "waters of the United States" regulated under the Act. The federal courts and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have failed to resolve the relationship between these two statutes. Therefore, the U.S. Congress needs to bridge the gap between FIFRA and the CWA to ensure that these statutes' objectives to protect the environment and public health are fulfilled.

Federal courts have been one of two battlegrounds where the conflict between the regulatory scope of these two statutes has been waged. A circuit split is developing concerning the applicability of national pollutant discharge elimination system (NPDES) permits under the CWA for the application of pesticides regulated under FIFRA. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit each have heard cases within the last four years on this issue, with the Ninth Circuit generally ruling in favor of requiring NPDES permits for FIFRA-regulated pesticides that are applied into or over waters regulated under the CWA. The Second Circuit cases, however, applied a stricter interpretation of the arguably conflicting Acts, and have limited the factual circumstances under which an NPDES permit is required for application of FIFRA-regulated pesticides.

Preserving Europe's Heritage: Biodiversity, Landscape and Agri-Cultural Policy in a Confederated Europe

by Tania L.M. Monteiro

I. Introduction

Europe has been manicured by human settlement for thousands of years. There are very few wild spaces left. Yet much of Europe is still covered by open, natural spaces; green spaces which are etched with the evidence of human influence and which bear the markings of eras of socioeconomic history, but which continue in modern-day use as productive lands. Shaped and cultivated by cultural and agricultural activities these green spaces are often reservoirs of biodiversity and examples of unpremeditated sustainable use. However, because of their day-to-day human occupation, their agricultural productivity, or because of their lack of historical significance, or evidence of antiquity, these green spaces do not habitually become the subject matter of natural conservation laws or of historic preservation laws. Nevertheless, in Europe these areas are frequently home to a great stock of natural and cultural heritage; of agricultural biodiversity preserved through a sustainable use that concomitantly preserves a visual amenity in which Europeans find their cultural identities. These spaces, although in human use, are as deserving of legal protection as a piece of untouched wilderness or an ancient monument.

This Article identifies legal avenues within European Community law that exist or that need to be forged in order to provide legal protection and governance to these productive green spaces. It focuses exclusively on the agricultural sector and on the uncovering of the relationship between traditional patterns of environmentally sustainable agriculture and the European cultural identity as visualized through the agricultural landscape. This is approached via examination of three broad subject matters: a review of the Convention on Biological Diversity's (CBD's) Ecosystem Approach determines whether that methodology is capable of providing governance for the historical and cultural components of the ecosystem; international and European historic preservation initiatives plant the seeds of the "landscape" model emerging through the European Landscape Convention (ELC); and finally, all elements of agricultural biodiversity conservation and agri-cultural landscape protection are accounted for and integrated into proposed changes to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).