The field of Environmental Law is regarded by many as a narrow legal specialty. Within it however, there are numerous statutes and related rules. Additionally, the subject has roots in the "common law" of England and the United States, and common law principles can still govern, as in the question of whether someone is causing a nuisance for their neighbor. Additionally, Environmental Law has become a field in which important questions of Constitutional and administrative law principle have been established. Finally, but importantly, Environmental Law issues are commonly intertwined with issues of "federalism", i.e. the proper relationships and division of power between the States and the federal government.
Adding to the complexity of the field is the fact that it involves itself daily with engineering, scientific and socio-political questions. One can know what the rules say, but the greater trick is often in knowing how they should be interpreted or applied in situations that are new or "gray". A practitioner should be able to understand the technical issues involved for the regulator and the regulated entity as part of the task of analyzing a situation.
The buttons on the left side of this page take you to summary descriptions of major laws of the United States, with an emphasis on business related issues.