Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Natural Resources & Environmental Law

Publication Date



This Article suggests that environmental law, and the legal liability it creates, is a symptom of a social movement to institute a shared management approach to deciding which risks are reasonable and worth taking. Environmental law provides one method to achieve stable, long-term management solutions for risk-taking in society. The Article also suggests that this conception of environmental law can in fact improve the ability to predict trends relevant to assessment and monitoring.

This Article contains two major parts. Part I presents a general model to assist in understanding the developments in environmental law. The difficulty with environmental law is that there are many complicated and overlapping treaties, statutes and regulations making it difficult to see the forest rather than the trees. This model for understanding environmental liability involves two basic concepts: "shared management" and "reasonable risk." Part II of this Article utilizes the model, together with examples from recent laws and cases in the United States, to explore implications for environmental assessment and monitoring.



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