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    Darian-Smith, Eve 2010. Environmental Law and Native American Law. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 6, Issue. 1, p. 359.

  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: November 2008

14 - Law and the Environment

Two essential categories of environmental law and litigation, nuisance and natural resources, are ancient and capacious: they have occupied courts, legislatures, and other governmental authority for centuries. To resolve environmental problems, Anglo-Americans have continuously developed or recognized new kinds of nuisances. Since the turn of the twentieth century environmental law has been based largely on non-legal, fact-based disciplinary inquiry into the environment and society's usage of common resources. Even as firms grew in the Gilded Age, state governments also grew, and they asserted and extended their authority into those areas of the environment in which the law did not recognize private property. Charles Francis Adams demonstrated in the 1870s that sunshine laws helped regulators manage the interests of powerful actors to serve public welfare; conversely, the necessary secrecy of military projects may enhance national security, but it risks camouflaging threats to the public health of neighborhoods living near military sites.
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The Cambridge History of Law in America
  • Online ISBN: 9781139054195
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