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What is environmental science and how do environmental lawyers benefit from the study?

by | Dec 15, 2023 | Environmental Law

Environmental science at its core involves the study of various aspects of the geology, biology, chemistry, and ecology inherent in our natural environment. Interest in the study of environmental science has evolved and risen over the last several decades due in large part to the advancement in technology which has allowed us to more easily and thoroughly identify the impact humans have on the environment. Likewise, environmental law has correspondingly evolved during the same time period, beginning with the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and passing of the Clean Air Act (CAA). In subsequent years, the Clean Water Act (CWA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)—all of which at their core are intended to restore the natural environment to its natural sustainable state—further shaped the law as we know it today.

Environmental law is complex and an ever-changing specialty. Recent changes include the development of green energy, global warming and climate change, and other issues affecting the sustainability of natural resources. Knowledge of environmental science is a key asset to an environmental lawyer. Such knowledge allows environmental lawyers to understand to fundamental basis of the relevant law, interact with experts in the field, and most importantly better advocate on behalf of a client.

At Tropea McMillan, LLP, we handle a variety of litigation and regulatory matters involving the CAA, CWA, CERCLA and RCRA. We advise municipalities, manufacturers, and developers on how to minimize their environmental impact and comply with regulations. Our attorneys have experience in the law and environmental science which guides our ability to favorably resolve legal issues on behalf of clients and help ensure compliance or avoid environmental issues.