• (740) 245-7484

Directed Study Environmental Policy

 

COURSE SYLLABUS
Fall 2013
Directed Study Environmental Policy
NSC49904
School of Science

 

Professor:  Dr. Linda Sigismondi
Phone:      740 245-7484
Email:       lindas@rio.edu
Office:      Kidd Hall 100B
Office Hours: MWF 12:30 - 1:20, Th 12:30 - 2:20, others by arrangement

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This is a directed study course.  The student will research 15 environmental laws using the Internet and printed resources.  The student will put together a portfolio illustrating the key terms and features of the laws. 

PREREQUISITES: Environmental Science Major, Junior/Senior Standing

CREDIT HOURS:  4

SUGGESTED RESOURCES:

Basic Environmental Science Textbook

Kubasek, N. K. and G. S. Silverman. 2010. Environmental Law 7th Edition. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.  ISBN-13: 978-0136088837

Class Web Page: http://www.rio.edu/lindas/Directed-Study-Environmental-Policy.cfm

PROGRAM OUTCOMES--The following outcomes have been adopted for the environmental science degree programs for which this course is required:

  • Explain, using appropriate terminology, the major concepts in environmental science including major environmental problems, their causes, consequences, and potential solutions.
  • Explain the fundamentals of scientific inquiry, interpret the results of scientific investigations, and draw reasonable conclusions from data.
  • Explain, using appropriate terminology, the basic principles of biology, chemistry, and geology.
  • Explain, using appropriate terminology, the basic principles of the social sciences including economics, government and sociology.
  • Explain, using appropriate terminology, the major environmental laws in the United States.
  • Function successfully in an environmental science internship.

COURSE OUTCOMES:  The following outcomes have been adopted for this course.  All outcomes listed below have direct relevance to course material.  Upon completion of this course students are expected to:

  • To become familiar with major environmental laws and regulations.
  • To become familiar with the resources for finding information about environmental regulations.
  • To develop a portfolio that can be used as a reference during the environmental internship or in future employment.

 

GRADING POLICIES/TESTING/ASSIGNMENTS/ATTENDANCE/EXPECTATIONS

Grade calculation:

Category Points
Exams 300
Portfolio 150
TOTAL 450

 

A = 93-100%, A- = 90-92,
B+ = 88-89, B = 83-87%, B- = 80-82,
C+ = 78-79, C = 73-77%, C- = 70-72,
D+ = 68-69, D = 63-67%, D- = 60-62,
F = below 60%
 

Exams:

There will be three exams, one for each unit.  Each exam will be 100 points and consist of multiple-choice questions.  The first exam will be by end of the 5th week of the semester, the second by the end of the 10th week of the semester and the third by 4:00 PM on Thursday, December 12, 2013. 

Unit 1

  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Oil Pollution Prevention Act

Unit 2

  • Endangered Species Act
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
  • Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
  • Pollution Prevention Act
  • Occupation Safety and Health Act

Unit 3

  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
  • Emergency Planning and Community Right to know Act
  • Toxic Substance Control Act
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act

Portfolio:

The portfolio will be compiled as a MS Word document.  

A list of terms and other required information for each of the environmental laws is provided.   You need to research these terms.  For each term, give the definition (as used in the context of the law, not general use) as well as other appropriate information such as examples.  It is suggested that you look up the basics of the law in a general environmental science text to get an overview.  Then search the web.  The EPA website (www.epa.gov) is a good resource for many of the laws. Be sure as you define the terms that you do so in the context of the environmental law rather than in general use.   (Note:  Websites change over time.  If any information requested is no longer available, please see your instructor.) A version of the National Environmental Policy Act is on the class website and should serve as an example of a completed section of the portfolio. You may use this in your notebook. 

The portfolio will be graded on thoroughness.  Include all the terms and other information requested in detail. You may add additional terms or info that you find interesting or may be of use to you in future employment.

A grading rubric for the portfolio is provided. 

Due Dates:  The first law, the Clean Air Act is due on or before September 13, 2013. Your instructor will review your work and give suggestions for future work. All exams and the portfolio must be completed and submitted before 4:00 PM on Thursday, December 12, 2013.  Late items will receive a 0.

ACADEMIC POLICIES:

ADA POLICY: If a student wishes to be identified as having a physical, mental, or learning disability, that may or may not require reasonable accommodation(s), he/she must register with the Office of Accessibility.  These registered students should identify themselves to their instructors and provide a written statement from the Accessibility Office that indicates the appropriate accommodations.  The process of a student self-proclaiming the need for accommodation should occur as early in the semester as possible.  The Office of Accessibility is located in Rhodes Hall, Room 116, University of Rio Grande and the phone number is 245-7339.

FERPA:  The University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College are committed to fully respecting and protecting the rights of students under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  These rights generally include the right to inspect, review and seek amendment to the student's education records and the right to provide written consent before personally identifiable information from education records is disclosed.  Under FERPA, students have the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures to comply with FERPA.  Please see the Student Records Confidentiality/Rights Under FERPA section of the Student Handbook for details and more information.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY:  Standard university policies, as described in the Student Handbook, apply.

WITHDRAWAL: Refer to Student Handbook
 


Environmental Laws to be Researched:


National Environmental Policy Act

Basic Information:

Abbreviation: NEPA

Year Enacted: 1969

Years Updated: NA

Agency Responsible for Enforcement: Council on Environmental Quality

Major Goals:  Establishes the broad national framework for protecting our environment.  Assures that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that significantly affects the environment. The purposes of this Act are: To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality.

 

Define/explain terms:

1.  Council on Environmental Quality - The Council shall be composed of three members who shall be appointed by the President to serve at his pleasure, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The President shall designate one of the members of the Council to serve as Chairman. Each member shall be a person who, as a result of his training, experience, and attainments, is exceptionally well qualified to analyze and interpret environmental trends and information of all kinds; to appraise programs and activities of the Federal Government in the light of the policy set forth in title I of this Act; to be conscious of and responsive to the scientific, economic, social, aesthetic, and cultural needs and interests of the Nation; and to formulate and recommend national policies to promote the improvement of the quality of the environment.

2.  What are the duties and function of the Council?
To assist and advise the President in the preparation of the Environmental Quality Report required by section 201 [42 USC ¤ 4341] of this title
to gather timely and authoritative information concerning the conditions and trends in the quality of the environment both current and prospective, to analyze and interpret such information for the purpose of determining whether such conditions and trends are interfering, or are likely to interfere, with the achievement of the policy set forth in title I of this Act, and to compile and submit to the President studies relating to such conditions and trends; to review and appraise the various programs and activities of the Federal Government in the light of the policy set forth in title I of this Act for the purpose of determining the extent to which such programs and activities are contributing to the achievement of such policy, and to make recommendations to the President with respect thereto; to develop and recommend to the President national policies to foster and promote the improvement of environmental quality to meet the conservation, social, economic, health, and other requirements and goals of the Nation;
to conduct investigations, studies, surveys, research, and analyses relating to ecological systems and environmental quality; to document and define changes in the natural environment, including the plant and animal systems, and to accumulate necessary data and other information for a continuing analysis of these changes or trends and an interpretation of their underlying causes; to report at least once each year to the President on the state and condition of the environment; and to make and furnish such studies, reports thereon, and recommendations with respect to matters of policy and legislation as the President may request.

3. Environmental quality report - The President shall transmit to the Congress annually beginning July 1, 1970, an Environmental Quality Report (hereinafter referred to as the "report") which shall set forth (1) the status and condition of the major natural, manmade, or altered environmental classes of the Nation, including, but not limited to, the air, the aquatic, including marine, estuarine, and fresh water, and the terrestrial environment, including, but not limited to, the forest, dryland, wetland, range, urban, suburban an rural environment; (2) current and foreseeable trends in the quality, management and utilization of such environments and the effects of those trends on the social, economic, and other requirements of the Nation; (3) the adequacy of available natural resources for fulfilling human and economic requirements of the Nation in the light of expected population pressures; (4) a review of the programs and activities (including regulatory activities) of the Federal Government, the State and local governments, and nongovernmental entities or individuals with particular reference to their effect on the environment and on the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources; and (5) a program for remedying the deficiencies of existing programs and activities, together with recommendations for legislation.

4.  Citizens' Advisory Committee on Environmental Quality - established by Executive Order No. 11472, dated May 29, 1969, and with such representatives of science, industry, agriculture, labor, conservation organizations, State and local governments and other groups, as it deems advisable; and

5.  Office of Environmental Quality - There is established in the Executive Office of the President an office to be known as the Office of Environmental Quality (hereafter in this chapter referred to as the "Office"). The Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality established by Public Law 91-190 shall be the Director of the Office.

6.  Office of Environmental Quality Management Fund - There is established an Office of Environmental Quality Management Fund (hereinafter referred to as the "Fund") to receive advance payments from other agencies or accounts that may be used solely to finance --study contracts that are jointly sponsored by the Office and one or more other Federal agencies; and Federal interagency environmental projects (including task forces) in which the Office participates.

7.  Environmental impact statement (EIS) - A document required of federal agencies by the National Environmental Policy Act for major projects or legislative proposals significantly affecting the environment. A tool for decision making, it describes the positive and negative effects of the undertaking and cites alternative actions.

8.  What paramaters should be in an EIS?
(i) the environmental impact of the proposed action,
(ii) any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented,
(iii) alternatives to the proposed action,
(iv) the relationship between local short-term uses of man's environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity, and
(v) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposed action should it be implemented.

Find:

  • Sample of EIS data sheet

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

Department of Energy. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. http://ceq.eh.doe.gov/nepa/regs/nepa/nepaeqia.htm

EPA. National Environmental Policy Act. http://www.epa.gov/region5/defs/html/nepa.htm

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:

Cunningham, W.P. and Cunningham, M.A. 2008. Principles of Environmental Science 4th edition. McGraw-Hill, New York.



Clean Air Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. Air pollutant
  2. Ambient air
  3. National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)
  4. Primary Standard
  5. Secondary Standard
  6. Attainment area
  7. Nonattainment area
  8. State Implementation Plans (SIPs)
  9. Criteria Pollutant
  10. Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP)
  11. Stationary source
  12. Mobile Source
  13. Emission
  14. Permit
  15. Emission standard
  16. Emission cap
  17. Emissions trading
  18. Offset
  19. Monitoring
  20. Continuous Emission Monitoring system
  21. Smog
  22. Acid deposition
  23. Ozone
  24. Ozone layer
  25. Dobson unit
  26. Ozone depletion
  27. Ozone hole
  28. Ozone-destroying chemicals
  29. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFRC
  30. UV Index
  31. Inspection and Maintenance (I/M)
  32. Control technology
  33. MACT
  34. BACT
  35. Catalytic converter
  36. Vapor recovery nozzles
  37. Bag house filter
  38. Air Quality Index

Find:

  1. Table of NAAQS
  2. Map showing air quality index on recent day
  3. Table showing key to air quality index
  4. Map showing UV index on recent day

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:

 

 

Clean Water Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define terms:

  1. Water pollution
  2. Effluent
  3. Run-off
  4. Point
  5. Non-point source
  6. Waters of the United States
  7. Wetland
  8. Ephemeral streams
  9. Designated use
  10. What are some examples of common designated uses?
  11. Existing Use
  12. Reclassification
  13. Water quality criteria
  14. Narrative criteria
  15. Numeric criteria
  16. Biological criteria
  17. Biological magnification=bioaccumulation
  18. Antidegradation
  19. Water quality standard
  20. Ambient monitoring
  21. Water Quality Reports (2)
  22. Impaired
  23. What are the top 15 causes of impairment?
  24. Plant Nutrient
  25. Sediment
  26. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
  27. NPDES Permit
  28. Best Management Practices (BMP)
  29. NPDES Permit Violation
  30. What enforcement actions may EPA take if a permit is violated?
  31. Supplemental environmental projects (SEP)
  32. Total maximum daily load (TMDL)
  33. Nonpoint Source Program
  34. Publicly owned treatment works (POTWs)
  35. Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF)

Find:

  • Diagram of Clean Water Act Big Picture
  • Map/atlas of American waters that are impaired
  • Chart or table showing pollution tolerant vs intolerant species
  • Web address of Table of current national recommended water quality criteria

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:



Safe Drinking Water Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. Aquifer
  2. Public water system
  3. Safe Water
  4. Treatment Technique
  5. Filtration
  6. Disinfection
  7. Contaminant
  8. Microbial contaminant
  9. Fecal Coliform Bacteria
  10. Organic contaminant
  11. Inorganic contaminant
  12. Maximum Contaminant Level MCL
  13. Maximum Contaminant Level Goal MCLG
  14. Primary Drinking Water Regulation
  15. Secondary Drinking Water Regulation
  16. Turbidity
  17. Cost-benefit analysis
  18. Consumer confidence report
  19. Underground injection well
  20. Underground injection control (UIC)
  21. Drinking water state revolving fund
  22. Disinfectant byproducts
  23. Maximum Residual disinfection level MRDL
  24. Operator certification
  25. Source water assessment programs
  26. Source water protection areas

Find:

  1. List of Drinking Water Contaminants and MCL’s
  2. Copy of an annual consumer confidence report

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:



Oil Pollution Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. Natural Resource
  2. Navigable waters
  3. Remove or removal
  4. Responsible party
  5. What is the responsible party liable for if oil is discharged?
  6. How is natural resource damage measured?
  7. Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund
  8. National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan
  9. Oil Pollution Research and Development Program

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:

 


Endangered Species Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. Biodiversity
  2. Endangered species
  3. Endemic species
  4. Exotic species
  5. Threatened species
  6. Extinct
  7. Extirpated
  8. Species
  9. Listing
  10. Federal Register
  11. Take
  12. Incidental take permit
  13. Habitat conservation plan (HCP’s)
  14. Recovery
  15. Recovery plan
  16. Critical habitat
  17. Candidate species
  18. Proposed species
  19. Reclassify
  20. Experimental population
  21. Delist
  22. Conservation banking
  23. Biological assessment
  24. Conservation Banking
  25. Safe Harbor Agreement

Find:

  1. ESA Basics Fact Sheet
  2. ESA Petition Process Fact Sheet (showing listing process flow chart)
  3. Boxscore of endangered species (for current year)
  4. List of endangered species in Ohio

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:


List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:



Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
of Wild Fauna and Flora

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. Species
  2. Flora
  3. Fauna
  4. Appendix 1 species
  5. Appendix 2 species
  6. Appendix 3 species
  7. Member country/party
  8. Conference of Parties (CoPs)
  9. CITES secretariat
  10. Standing Committee
  11. Plants and Animals Committees
  12. Nomenclature Committee
  13. UNEP
  14. IUCN
  15. Traffic
  16. Import
  17. Export
  18. Permit
  19. Notifications
  20. How is CITES financed?

Find:

  1. Flowchart of structure
  2. List of member nations
  3. List of species in each appendix
  4. Table showing number and types of species in each appendix

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:




Pollution Prevention Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. Source reduction
  2. Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT)
  3. List/describe of EPA directives under act
  4. Green suppliers network
  5. Energy star
  6. Best management practices
  7. Biennial report
  8. Industry reporting requirements under PPA

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:

 



Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation: 
Year Enacted: 
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement: 
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. surface mining
  2. strip mining
  3. mountain top removal mining
  4. reclamation
  5. Permitting
  6. Bonding
  7. inspection and enforcement
  8. land restriction
  9. approximate original contour
  10. abandoned mine land fund

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:

 

 

Occupational Safety and Health Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  2. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  3. Employer
  4. Employee
  5. Who is covered?
  6. Who is not covered?
  7. Federal occupational safety and health standards
  8. Standards with similar requirements to all sectors of industry (3)
  9. general duty clause
  10. inspections
  11. recordkeeping-forms 300, 301
  12. reporting
  13. voluntary protection program
  14. employee rights
  15. Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) program
  16. Educational Resource Centers (ERCs)
  17. Consultation assistance/services
  18. MSDS
  19. Penalties/Sanctions
    1. Serious violation
    2. Other than serious violation
    3. Willful violation
    4. Repeated violation
    5. Failure to abate prior violation

Find:

  1. List of OSHA offices in Ohio

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:



Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. Hazardous substance
  2. Release
  3. Removal action
  4. Remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS)
  5. Remedial design
  6. Remedial action
  7. Hazardous substances response trust fund (superfund)
  8. Preliminary assessment
  9. Potentially responsible parties (PRP’s)
  10. National Contingency Plan (NCP)
  11. National priority list (NPL)
  12. Applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs)
  13. Record of Decision (ROD)
  14. SARA*
  15. Hazard Ranking System (HRS)
  16. Superscreen and Quickscore

Find:

  1. US map showing superfund locations
  2. Number of locations currently on national priority list
  3. Ohio map showing superfund locations
  4. Superfund site report for 1 site in Ohio

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:


*Note:  The EPCRA portions of SARA are to be discussed in the next law, not under CERCLA.




Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. State Emergency Response Commission (SERC)
  2. Emergency Planning Districts
  3. Local emergency planning committee (LEPC)
  4. Community emergency response plan
  5. What are the required elements of a community emergency response plan?
  6. Emergency release notification
  7. Information that must be in emergency release notification
  8. Written Follow-up Notice
  9. Extremely hazardous substances
  10. CERCLA hazardous substances
  11. Hazardous chemical
  12. Toxic Chemical
  13. Threshold planning quantity (TPQ)
  14. Reportable Quantity (RQ)
  15. Hazardous chemical Threshold Level
  16. Toxic Chemical Activity Threshold
  17. Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
  18. Toxic release inventory
  19. What information should be on the toxics release inventory?
  20. What are the penalties for violating EPCRA

Find:

  1. Your local LEPC
  2. Your state SERC
  3. Web address of alphabetical list of extremely hazardous substances

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:




Toxic Substances Control Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. Chemical substance
  2. TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory
  3. Approximate number of chemical on list
  4. To whom does TSCA apply?
  5. TSCA report
  6. What chemicals are excluded from this act?
  7. Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT)
  8. manufacturing
  9. Premanufacture notice (PMN)
  10. “existing” vs “new” chemical substance
  11. “significant new uses”
  12. genetically modified organisms
  13. testing requirements
  14. protection against unreasonable risk
  15. imminent hazards
  16. What Regulatory Controls does this act give the EPA?

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:

 


Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation:
Year Enacted:
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement:
Major Goals:

Define/explain terms:

  1. Solid waste
  2. Hazardous waste
  3. Ignitability
  4. Corrosivity
  5. Reactivity
  6. toxicity
  7. Cradle-to-grave
  8. Manifest system 
  9. generator
  10. Conditional exempt small-quantity generators -
  11. Small quantity generators
  12. Large quantity generators
  13. land disposal restrictions
  14. treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facilities
  15. permit
  16. solid waste provisions
  17. underground storage tanks
  18. federal facility compliance act
  19. hazardous and solid waste amendments of 1984

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:



Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act

Basic Information:
Abbreviation: 
Year Enacted: 
Years Updated:
Agency Responsible for Enforcement: 
Major Goals: 

Define/explain terms:

  1. Pesticide
  2. Insecticide
  3. Fungicide
  4. Rodenticide
  5. Requirement of Registration
  6. Labeling of Pesticide Products
  7. General vs restricted use-pesticides
  8. Certified Applicator
  9. Public Disclosure
  10. Reregistration

List Title(s) and URL(s) of websites used:

List Author(s) and Title(s) of books used:

 

Last Updated:  August 27, 2013