Paper Example on The United States Environmental Law

Published: 2023-01-22
Paper Example on The United States Environmental Law
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Law Ecology Pollution Global warming Air pollution
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1006 words
9 min read

Environmental law entails laws agreements and regulations that oversee the interaction of human being and the environment. The main purpose behind environmental law is to create rules that will guide in the protection of the environment and how humans can utilize natural resources and the terms on which they should use it. United States environmental law involves legal standards that help in the protection of human health and that guides on the improvement of the native environment of the United States. The main aim of this work is to understand the deeper meaning of the laws concerning the environment in the united states.

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The clean air act is one of the comprehensive national environmental laws in the United States that control the emission of air from areas, whether mobile or stationary sources. The Act permits the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to find National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) that will help in the protection of the environment and human health. The purpose of this Act was to establish and accomplish NAAQS by 19975 in each state. The establishment of supreme pollutant standards was mainly meant to guide the state in the development of state implantation plans that should apply to the relevant industrial sources within the state (Withgott & Laposata 2018). The Act was revised in 1977 basically to set other new objectives for the accomplishment of NAAQS because many sections of the country had unsuccessfully been able to meet the set deadlines. The 1990 revisions were basically to address the issues which had not been addressed like groundwater ozone, air toxins, acid rain, and stratospheric ozone depletion.

The Act is significant to the health of American workers and families since it continues to reduce air pollution in the United States. Clean air will improve quality of life, reduce medical expenditures, and have healthier worker output. The act will also encourage market opportunities concerning cleaner technologies (Brunnee, 2004). States should embrace the implementation of the Clean Air Act to realize the opportunities involved and enhance the growth of the economy.

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer

It is a universal international environmental agreement that entails protecting the earth's ozone layer by regulating the usage of elements that deplete the ozone. These substances include those that allow increased radiation of ultraviolet rays to reach the earth's surface. Ultraviolet radiation can result in eye cataracts and high possibility of contracting skin cancer. In addition, it can lead to more severe immune systems, agricultural forests, and lands and negative impacts on water catchment areas (Withgott & Laposata 2018). Since 1987 when it was adopted, and by the end of 2014, it has addressed more than 98 percent of controlled ozone depletion substances. The main objective of this agreement is to help the learner to understand the importance of conserving the ozone layer by regulating the usage of ozone depletion substances.

Montreal Protocol under the United Nations Development Programme, which is the agency that guides the implementation of the Multilateral Fund, assists the developing states in dealing with ozone-depleting substances. The agreement is organized into different groups, which include hydrogenated hydrocarbons that take part in the depletion of stratospheric ozone. Ozone depletion substances (ODSs) mainly contain bromine or chlorine (Brunnee, 2004). Some of the ODS that are not yet addressed by the Montreal protocol include nitrous oxide (N2O). Article five of this agreement identifies a ten-year phase in developing countries that offers a schedule on how to eliminate ODS.

Since the agreement came into effect, the level of critical chlorofluorocarbons and associated chlorinated hydrocarbons have decreased tremendously. Montreal Protocol has also contributed to reducing global warming and protection of the ozone layer. It has also played a significant part in achieving the climate targets outlined in the Kyoto Protocol. Countries should put into consideration the terms put across by this agreement to help in the protection of the ozone layer globally.

Policy Compromises

Achievement of the law in the United States is facing a myriad of policy compromise which is fully respected before the enactment of any act. Although the essence of the environmental law is to have general prosperity among the citizens in terms of having a healthy surroundings, it faces many compromises, especially where a level of pollution cannot be avoided (Velders et al. 2007). This is because the necessity to dispose of industrial waste and sewage is allowed in a controlled manner designed to ensure that the entire community meets its needs.

Ozone destruction was not widely recognized as a problem in its initial law provisions which would have restricted the production of chemicals that play a more significant role in ozone depletion which in turn allows the penetration of ultraviolet radiation. Companies could not have allowed the immediate implementation of these regulations since they could have resulted in massive losses (Withgott & Laposata 2018). They negotiated for more time to be provided so that they could initiate strategies to mitigate the emission of harmful gases. Example of these companies includes those that manufactured vehicles that were required to sell cars with equipment that controlled pollution.

Montreal Protocol has also faced several compromises based on greater concerns of the developing countries' ambitions to exploit their land in terms of agricultural activities and initiating companies which in one way or the other contribute to the emission of harmful gases claiming that those agreements are tough to comply with.

In conclusion, the concerned parties need to consider public participation when they are in due process of enacting laws and agreements to ensure efficient implementation. Countries need to embrace the laws pertaining environment and ensure that they comply with international treaties to help safeguard the environment globally.


Brunnee, J. (2004). The United States and international environmental law: Living with an elephant. European journal of international law, 15(4), 617-649.

Velders, G. J., Andersen, S. O., Daniel, J. S., Fahey, D. W., & McFarland, M. (2007). The importance of the Montreal Protocol in protecting climate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(12), 4814-4819.

Withgott, J., & Laposata, M. (2018). Environment: The science behind the stories (6th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

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