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Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning Chapter 50 Environmental Law and Land Use Controls Twomey Jennings Anderson’s Business Law and the Legal Environment, Comprehensive 20e Anderson’s Business Law and the Legal Environment, Standard 20e Business Law: Principles for Today’s Commercial Environment 2e
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 2 Introduction The regulations of land use consist of environmental laws and zoning. Environmental laws exist at both the state and the federal levels. Environmental laws are primarily enforced at the federal level by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but other federal and state agencies enforce environmental laws, using criminal and civil penalties and injunctions to halt pollution.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 3 Statutory Environmental Law Clean Air Act: limits on emissions and permits for discharges. Clean Water Act: permit requirements, discharge prohibitions, and treatment standards. Solid Waste Disposal: Resource Recovery Act and CERCLA (Superfund). –limitations on dumping and liability for cleanup when hazardous materials are found on property.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 4 Other Regulations Endangered Species Act: protects endangered species. Safe Drinking Water Act requires the EPA to establish national standards for contaminants. Oil Pollution Act imposes liability for oil spills as well as safety standards for oil tankers.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 5 Enforcement of Environmental Laws Criminal – most federal environmental laws carry criminal penalties of fines or imprisonment for violations. Civil – the EPA may also get a court- ordered injunction to halt an activity which violates a standard. Private Action – individuals may bring suit against a violator if conduct constitutes a nuisance.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 6 Penalties for Violations of Federal Environmental Laws
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 7 Nuisances A nuisance is a public or private interference with the use and enjoyment of land, and individuals can bring suit to halt nuisances. Courts analyze the balance between the use and enjoyment of land and the economic interests of all of the parties involved.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 8 Criminal (place where illegal acts repeatedly occur) Permanent (single act with permanent damage) Continuing (series of related acts) Nuisance: Conduct that unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment or use of land. Conduct that has a negative effect upon others without being balanced by a benefit to society. Nuisance Per Se (nuisance in all situations) Nuisance in Fact (nuisance in certain situations) Private (affects one or a few persons) Public (affects a community) Types of Nuisances
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 9 Land Use Controls Restrictive covenants in deeds are valid land use restrictions that pass from owner to owner and are enforceable so long as they do not violate any constitutional rights.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 10 Land Use Controls Zoning is a public means of regulating land use through zoning laws that are part of an overall plan for development. –Some landowners can obtain variances from zoning laws, and some preexisting uses are permitted to continue with the protection of a nonconforming use. Non-conforming use.
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