Environmental law is a complex and interlocking body of statutes, common law, treaties, conventions, regulations and policies which, very broadly, operate to regulate the interaction of humanity and the rest of the biophysical or natural environment, toward the purpose of reducing or minimizing the impacts of human activity, both on the natural environment and on humanity itself. Environmental law draws from and is influenced by principles of environmentalism, including ecology, conservation, stewardship, responsibility and sustainability. From an economic perspective it can be understood as concerned with the prevention of present and future externalities.
Areas of concern in environmental law include air quality, water quality, global climate change, agriculture, biodiversity, species protection, pesticides and hazardous chemicals, waste management, remediation of contaminated land and brownfields, smart growth, sustainable development, impact review, and conservation, stewardship and management of public lands and natural resources.
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