Spring 2018 Course Schedule

Advanced Environmental Law: Liability and Torts (LAW-844-001)
Barry Breen

Meets: 07:25 PM - 10:15 PM (Tu) - Warren - Room NT03

Enrolled: 9 / Limit: 22

Administrator Access


Assessment: In-class exam; Class Participation


This course focuses on advanced issues in liability under U.S. statutory environmental law, particularly advanced issues in Superfund, the imminent endangerment provisions in major environmental statutes, and the citizen suit provisions in major environmental statutes. The course also focuses on environmental torts, including causes of action, remedies, issues in causation, and potential defenses. In addition, the course surveys issues of environmental federalism, including commerce clause and choice of law issues arising in environmental cases. The method of assessment is an in-class final examination (75%) and class participation (25%), which includes attendance and participation in regular classes and also an in-class exercise involving draft environmental legislation.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

Required texts for this course are: 1. Casebook: Madden & Boston, Law of Environmental and Toxic Torts: Cases, Materials, and Problems, third edition (Thomson West Publishing, 2005). ISBN-13: 9780314156075. ISBN 0-314-15607-0. It is fine to get this book new or used, and from any source. Be sure to get the 3rd edition from 2005. 2. Statutory supplement: Selected Environmental Law Statutes (West Publishing Co.) You can use either the current edition or any earlier edition as far back as 2002-2003. Do not use anything older than 2002-2003. It is fine to get this book new or used, and from any source. 3. Supplemental materials photocopied for this course, to be posted on the course’s MyWCL web site, and in printed form from the law school’s photocopying service. ======================== Note: The statutory supplement identified in #2 above is the standard statute book that most environmental lawyers use, and it's the one I assign in my introductory environmental law course. Still, if you already own a different statute book, check with me before you buy a replacement; I'll help you know if the statute book you already own might also be fine.

First Class Readings

The first class is Tuesday, January 9, from 7:25 to 10:15 pm. Read the following for the first class: 1. Casebook pp. 621 through 635. 2. CERCLA sec. 107(a) - (c), and 101(20)(A). 3. the follow items from the Supplemental Material (Supp. Mat.): a. Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway v. U.S. (we are reading just a portion of this decision at this point in the course: Majority opinion pp. 1-13, 20; and dissent pp. 1-4) b. US v. Fleet Factors c. 40 CFR 300.1100 (scan this regulation quickly; you do not need to study it carefully as we will highlight key points in class) d. Kelley v. US EPA (the dissent can be read quickly; you need only read the majority opinion carefully) e. EPA / DOJ Policy on CERCLA Enforcement Against Lenders f. CERCLA sec. 101(20)(E),(F), and (G), and sec. 107(n), all added to the statute in 1996.