What is Environmental Law?
Environmental law is a complex and interlocking body of treaties, conventions, statutes, regulations, and common law that operates to regulate the interaction of humanity and the natural environment, toward the purpose of reducing the impacts of human activity.
In the United States, responsibilities for the administration of environmental laws are divided between numerous federal and state agencies with varying, overlapping and sometimes conflicting missions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? (EPA) is the most well-known federal agency, with jurisdiction over many of the country’s national air, water and waste and hazardous substance programs. Other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service pursue primarily conservation missions, while still others, such as the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, tend to focus more on beneficial use of natural resources.
In the United States, violations of environmental laws are generally civil offenses, resulting in monetary penalties and, perhaps, civil sanctions such as injunction. Many environmental laws also provide for criminal penalties for egregious violations. Environmental agencies often include separate enforcement offices, with duties including monitoring permitted activities, performing compliance inspections, issuing citations and prosecuting wrongdoing.
Information above has been derived and quoted from Environmental Law.