Federal Statutes on Environmental Protection: Regulation in the Public Interest

Federal Statutes on Environmental Protection: Regulation in the Public Interest

Federal Statutes on Environmental Protection: Regulation in the Public Interest

Federal Statutes on Environmental Protection: Regulation in the Public Interest

Synopsis

"A brief yet comprehensive and clearly written compendium of the most important federal energy, environmental, and natural resource statutes through 1982. Freedman's special talent is the ability to relate Congressional intent to the policy context within each act was written. . . . [This] is a sweeping panoply of statute summaries replete with citations, and is thus highly suitable as a reference work." Choice

Excerpt

Oil supplies; the court ruled that the carrier did not know of the hazardous character of the substances the carrier was transporting, and therefore was not negligent under fhsa. Even the absence of federal labels did not amount to negligence on the part of the carrier.

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Federal Land Policy and Management Act (1976)

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) (1976) repealed in 1976 a number of public land statutes and instituted a number of new programs including review of all lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for possible designation by Congress as "wilderness." flpma land is subject to "valid existing rights," in the sense that private property rights (generally derivative of state law except for rights in federal lands conferred by federal statute) must be respected or regulated to the extent permitted by the courts. Reasonable regulation has been construed as allowing reasonable use of the property interests involved; but regulation does not require "trust" duties on the part of the federal agency, for supervision of public lands is deemed to be merely a statutory duty.

Where the land surface is federally owned and the severed minerals in the land are in private or state ownership under a reservation permitting their development including reasonable use of the surface (the so-called split-estate lands), the Board of Land Appeals of the U.S. Department of the Interior has determined that the "wilderness review" provisions of flpma do not apply. Nevertheless, the federal agency must manage the public lands so as not to impair their wilderness potential. The Mineral Leasing Act (1920) gave the Secretary of the Interior the authority to lease all public lands which are known or believed to contain oil and gas deposits for the purpose of developing such oil and gas deposits, but does not authorize the Secretary of the Interior to withhold lands from leasing under the act based on environmental or wilderness preservation concerns. the act was amended in 1981 to authorize payment to the states of 50 percent of rents, royalties, and bonuses from mineral leases on federal military reservations. But there is no private cause of action under the Mineral Leasing Act to recover damages for violation of the act.

Public lands if sold must insure that the "United States receives fair market value for the use of public lands and their resources." Right-of-way corridors in the hands of private or state interests are subject to rental payments based upon fair market value. But the Secretary of the Interior is vested with considerable discretion, although there are policy guidelines which must be . . .

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