Environmental Crimes – harm to air, water, soil quality, or endangered species:

environmental crime:
1. Environmental law. A statutory offense involving harm to the environment, such as a violation of the criminal provisions in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1970, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (commonly called the Clean Water Act), or the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  *  Although the most significant environmental-crime statutes were enacted in the 1970s, they date back to the late 19th century, with statutes such as the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1896 and the assorted statutes that ultimately became the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. — aka crime against the environment; environmental offense.

42 U.S.C. §7 401 – Clean Air Act of 1963 and Subsequent Amendments 

environment – 1. The natural world in which livin things dwell and grow. 2. The conditions affecting the development, growth, or performance of a person or thing. 3. The physical conditions of a particular place where a living person or thing exists.environmental, adj.


environmental audit – (1973) 1. A company’s voluntary self-audit to evaluate its environmental-management programs an to determine whether it is in compliance with environmental regulations.

environmental covenant (1990) A real covenant to remediate contaminated land.

environmental effect (1967) Environmental law. A natural or artificial disturbance of the physical, chemical, or biological components that make up the environment.

environmental-impact statement (1971) Environmental law. 1. A document that the National Environmental Policy Act (42 USCA § 4332(2)(c)) requires a federal agency to produce before undertaking a major project or legislative proposal so that better decisions can be made about the positive and negative environmental effects of an undertaking. 2. In some states, a public document used by a government agency to analyze the significant environmental effects of a proposed project, to identify alternatives, and to disclose possible ways to reduce or avoid possible environmental damage. 3. Generally, the estimation and evaluation of the possible environmental, economic, and social effects of a project or program on its location before making major decisions about the project or program. — Abbr. BIS. — aka environmentalimpact report (EIR); environmental assessment. [1]  1. Under state and federal statutes, detailed declarations required with respect to proposed projects or legislation that might have an influence upon the environment. [4]

environmental law (1971) The field of law dealing with the maintenance and protection of the environment, including preventive measures such as the requirements of preparing environmental-impact statements, as well as measures to assign liability and provide cleanup for incidents that harm the environment.  *  Because most environmental litigation involves disputes with governmental agencies, environmental law is heavily intertwined with administrative law.

environmental mitigation (1978) A project or program designed to offset the effects of human activities on an existing historic or natural resource, such as a wetland, an endangered species, or an archaeological site. — aka compensatory mitigation; mitigation banking.

Environmental Protection Agency – An independent federal agency in the executive branch responsible for setting pollution-control standards in the areas of air, water, solid waste, pesticides, radiation, and toxic materials; enforcing laws enacted to protect the environment; and coordinating the antipollution efforts of state and local governments.  *  The commission was created by Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1970. — Abbr. EPA. [1]  1. The duties of this agency of the federal governmetn, often referred to by its abbreviation, EPA, are numerous and broad in scope.  Its basic mission is to reduce and control pollution of every kind, in some instances by direct intervention and in others by working with or overseeing agencies of state and local government. [2]

environmental risk assessment See RISK ASSESSMENT.

environmental terrorism See ecoterrorism under TERRORISM.

enviroterrorism See ecoterrorism under TERRORISM.

Dutch standard – 1. (usu. plural)  Environmental law. A reference value for the presence of an environmental pollutant, used in environmental investigation, remediation, and cleanup.  2. Hist. A glass jar filled with sugar of a known degree of refinement, with which a sugar sample is compared to determine its quality of refinement.  *  Major Dutch sugar traders produced sets of jars containing sugars of different colors, from raw to refined, for use in in judging the quality of sugar.  Tariffs on imported sugar were based on quality, so customs offices used the Dutch sugar standards to examine samples and determine the proper duties. [1]

remedial action – intended to permanently alleviate pollution when a hazardous substance has been released or might be released into the environment, so as to prevent or minimize any further release of hazardous substances and thereby minimize the risk to public health or to the environment. 42 USCA § 9601(24); 40 CFR § 300. 6. — aka remedy.


  • CERCLA – Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980.  *  This statute holds responsible parties liable for the cost of cleaning up hazardous-waste sites. 42 USCA §§ 9601 et seq.
  • Superfund (1977) The program that funds and administers the cleanup of hazardous-waste sites through a trust fund (financed by taxes on petroleum and chemicals and a tax on certain corporations) created to pay for cleanup pending reimbursement form the liable parties.  2. The popular name for the act aht established this program — the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). [1]  1. A fund created by federal statute to be used in locating and cleaning up hazardous waste sites. [3]


Environmentally-Related Torts:

environmental tort – involves exposure to disagreeable or harmful environmental conditions or harm to & degradation of an environment (i.e. land, water, air).

toxic tort – a civil wrong arising from exposure to a toxic substance, such as asbestos, radiation, or hazardous waste. 

mass tort – a civil wrong that injures many people.


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-


[3]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[4]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.


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