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ENV 319 (2)

Boyd ch 8.doc

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ENV 319
David Boyd

ENV 319 Book Notes Unnatural Law By: David Boyd CHAPTER 8 – SYSTEMIC WEAKNESSES Systemic Weaknesses 1. Missing basic environmental laws o Canada missing enforceable national air and water quality standards o No national law guaranteeing safe drinking water, and requiring cleanup of contaminated sites o No national law to protect wild and scenic rivers, or forest management law o No law guaranteeing citizens access to information about sources of toxins in their community o No national hazardous waste law o Governments have promised laws but never introduced them, introduced laws but never passed them, and passed laws but never proclaimed them o Anti-regulatory attitude 2. Existing laws are plagued by excessive discretion o Environmental laws are drafted in such a way as to give Canadian governments power to take action or meet a specified standard but no duty to take action or meet those standards o Using words such as “may” instead of “must”; enables but does not require o The government cannot be forced to enforce the law 3. Laws and policies fail to reflect contemporary scientific knowledge o Precautionary Principle – where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation  Overall goal is to reduce risks to human health and the environment through pollution prevention o Adaptive Management – recognizes the intrinsic variability of natural systems and the pervasive uncertainty inherent in regulating environme
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