BEM 0331 Unit II Assessment

21 Aug No Comments

Question 1

50 out of 50 points

   
  Write an essay consisting of at least 500 words addressing all of the following topics (a through e):a. Describe why, historically, tort law has been insufficient at solving environmental problems. b. Prior to having an administrative body such as the U.S. EPA, discuss the effectiveness of prior attempts to control pollution such as subsidies and emissions charges. c. The concept of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was brought into being in 1970 with NEPA. Describe the original intent of the EIS and what types of projects were required to prepare an EIS. d. What is a FONSI? e. Find an environmental impact statement on the Internet. How many pages is it? Briefly describe the reason it was written and one item in it that you found interesting.      
  Selected Answer: Tort law was the originating tool that was used in gaining control over pollution, typically involving nuisance cases. A nuisance is an unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of another’s land. Tort law was the first way the United States attempted to control pollution, and it still provides a limited means of control. A person who is harmed by pollution could bring an action seeking an injunction, a court order prohibiting the polluting behavior and/or providing money damages for the harm causes. A number of limitations make tort law unavailable in many cases and unsatisfactory as an overall means of pollution control. The unwillingness of courts to grant injunctions is one issue with tort law. A common practice is to grant monetary damages, without any rulings to force polluters to cease nuisances. Another problem is that of standing. Standing is the legal right to bring action. Standing in a nuisance action is different from standing in most other cases. For the purposes of standing, nuisance is classified as being either private or public. Most pollution is public a nuisance. Only a public official can bring suit for a public nuisance. Public officials, who are generally elected, may be reluctant to bring a nuisance action against a major corporation because they supply jobs, and they could be accused of driving jobs out of town. They also do not want to anger a powerful constituent who may be responsible for sizable campaign contributions. The third problem with tort law is difficulty of proving one’s case. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff. Lack of resources is also a problem with tort law. If a nuisance is private the plaintiff will need money to bring action. Tort law is problematic because it is reactive. The problem must exist before the law comes into effect. Subsidies are grants or tax credit that the government provides to encourage pollution control. Subsidies are likely to be effective when the polluter know that eventually it is going to be forced to clean up the problem. Subsidies can be effective because a firm that is able to control its emissions better because of technology installed with a subsidy, the firm may pressure the government to impose even stricter emission limitations on that industry, so that their competition is held to the same standard. Emission charges have problems and are not as effective, in my opinion. It is very difficult to monitor emissions. It is also difficult to know how to set the fee. If fees are too low, firms will simply pay the fee and continue to pollute. Those fees may be passed on to consumers. If the fees are too high, only a few firms may be able to survive, thereby creating a monopoly. Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) were created to ensure every major legislative proposal or other federal agency action having a significant impact on the quality of the human environment perform an EIS and determine ways to avoid an pollution event. A FONSI stands for a finding of no significant impact. If an agency decides that no EIS is necessary, although it believes others may disagree, the agency may try to protect itself by filing a FONSI. The EIC I found on the internet is the Final Environmental Impact Statement For Hydropower License in Juneau Alaska. The EIC is 336 pages. Juneau Hydropower Incorporated filed an application for an original license with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for its proposed 19.8-megawatt Sweetheart Lake Hydroelectric Project. Something that I found interesting in the EIC is that they implemented a Bear Safety Plan that included protocols for minimizing the risk of human-bear interactions.References(Kubasek & Silverman, 2014)http://www.ferc.gov/industries/hydropower/enviro/eis/2016/05-31-16/FEIS.pdfCorrect Answer: [None] Response Feedback: Essay question- for this 50 point grading rubric you scored35/35 for Content10/10 for Organization5/5 for Writing MechanicsGood work overall! Your answer is very well done. Quality is good in your answers. Good to see your work submitted here this week. Your weekly assignment is insightful, through as you covered the areas requested but not covered in depth. This week you did demonstrate adequate or proficient mastery of content, appropriate to the assignment and the relevant terminal course objectives and program learning outcomes. Many requirements of the assignment are included in the responses-thank you.      

Question 2

50 out of 50 points

   
  Write an essay consisting of at least 500 words addressing all of the following topics (a through c):a. Explain the concept of tort law. How did its weaknesses lead to NEPA (pronounced nee-pah) in 1970? b. Contrast the roles of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the U.S. EPA. c. How is an Environmental Assessment different from an Environmental Impact Statement?      
  Selected Answer: Tort law was the first way the United States tried to control pollution. Tort law provides some control today, but it is very limited. The concept of tort law is to provide money for damages caused by another person or organizations wrong-doing and prohibit the pollution nuisance. The person who sues under tort law is hoping for an injunction and cost in return of their loss. If an action causes harm to someone, intentional or unintentional, a person has the right to sue for their suffering and be rewarded with money from the defendent. Compensation could be for a person injury, financial loss, or a property loss. A major weakness of tort law is that using tort law, the plaintiff is required to prove its case against the defendent. Numerous parties involved with the environmental issues makes proving the case difficult. If a plaintiff initiates a law suit for health issues suffered from pollution, they can not name one defendent if there are many pollutants in the are. This led to the establishment of NEPA in 1970. NEPA provided framework to protect the environment, by doing three things. NEPA created the Council on Environmental Quality(CEQ), required that Environmental Impact Statements(EIS) be prepared for each major legislative proposal or federal agency that may have a major impact on human life, and require that all agencies take into consideration the impacts that decisions may have by making them more accountable. The Council of Environmental Quality(CEQ) was established in conjunction with NEPA in 1969. Unlike the EPA which is a federal agency, the CEQ works with the EPA and other agencies to help develop environmental policies and initiatives. The CEQ also works closely with White House offices and closely with the President to enable the President’s agenda. When NEPA was established, it was decided that there should be a referee when disagreements could not be resolved. The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) protects human health and the environment. The EPA protects American citizens from unnecessary health risks, at home or at work. The EPA work with private companies and other countries to develop regulations to protect the environment in the United States and all around the world. The CEQ is an Executive Department that is in the Executive Office of the White House. The EPA sits under the government with other agencies and commissions. The main difference between an Environmental Assessment(EA) and an Environmental Impact Statement(EIS) is an EA is shorter and not as in depth as an EIS. A company must file an EIS to outline potential impacts that the project will have on human health if working under a government contract or license. NEPA requires three conditions that are needed in order for an EIS to be filed. The activity must be federal, the activity is major, and there would be a significant impact on environment. The EIS must have comments from the public, which allows outside people to see how the project may affect the environment. An EIS has the scope of the project, purpose of the project, proposed actions, descriptions of the risks, and proposed alternative ways to mitigate risks. An EA is far less in depth and normally is filed when it is unclear what impacts are known to human health. An EA is less expensive to file and doesn’t require as many consultants to prepare and is less time restrictive.Reference:(Kubasek & Silverman, 2014)      



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