• (740) 245-7484

Directed Study Environmental Policy

 

COURSE SYLLABUS
Spring 2015
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: TBA, 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. 2013. Environmental Law 8th Edition. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.  ISBN: 0133075281

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.

  • Communicate scientific information in oral and written form.

  • Relate models, theories and concepts to real world phenomena.

  • 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. 

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 is compiled as a MS Word document and submitted electronically. 

A list of terms and other required information for each of the environmental laws is provided on the course webpage. You need to research these terms and provide a definition as well as pertinent information and examples. Be sure as you define the terms that you do so in the context of the environmental law rather than in general use. (For example, permit, by dictionary definition, is to allow. A permit under the Clean Air Act  “Operating permits are legally enforceable documents that permitting authorities issue to air pollution sources after the source has begun to operate. They include information on which pollutants are being released, how much may be released, and what kinds of steps the source's owner or operator is required to take to reduce the pollution. Permits must include plans to measure and report the air pollution emitted.”)  It is suggested that you look up the basics of the law in a general environmental science textbook to get an overview. Then search the web. The EPA website (www.epa,gov) is a good resource for many of the laws. (Note: Websites change over time. If any information requested is no longer available, please see your instructor.) 

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

References should include author (person or agency), year, title, and source.    A good reference formatting source is http://www.nwmissouri.edu/library/CITING/cbe.htm.  Below are a few examples of references in proper format:

EPA.  2014.  Clean Air Act Requirements and History.  Retrieved December 15, 2014 from http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/requirements.html.

Cunningham, W. and Cunningham, M.  2014.  Environmental Science.  13th edition. McGraw-Hill.

The Portfolio should have a cover page and title pages for each law. There should be page breaks between laws.

Due Dates for Portfolio Sections and Exams:

NEPA - January 23, 2015. Your instructor will review your work and give suggestions for improvement.

Unit 1 – February 13, 2015

Unit 2 – March 27, 2015

Unit 3 – April 30, 2015

Late Policy: Exams and portfolio sections must be completed and submitted by 4:00 PM on or before the above due dates. Late exams and submissions will receive a 5% per calendar day grade reduction. Any exams and portfolio sections not submitted by 4:00 PM on Friday, May 1, 2015 will receive a zero.

Grading Rubrics for Portfolio Sections

UNIVERSITY 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, (740) 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

INCOMPLETES: Standard university policy - Incompletes will only be granted for extenuating circumstances, such as illness, accident, etc. which will prevent the student from completing the course. An incomplete grade cannot be given to avoid a failing grade in the course. Appropriate documentation (i.e. medical) must accompany the Incomplete Grade Request.

Students must have completed at least 75% of the course with a passing grade when requesting an incomplete. The student must request an incomplete from the instructor. It is the responsibility of the student to make up incomplete work. The instructor must complete the Incomplete Grade Request form and submit to the Registrar’s Office. Requests must include a valid reason why the work cannot be completed, a list of assignments to complete, a schedule for when the work will be completed, and the grade to be assigned if the work is not completed. Assignments should be completed as soon as possible, preferably within a few weeks.

 

 


Environmental Laws to be Researched:


National Environmental Policy Act

Basic Information:

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

 

Define/explain terms:

  1. Council on Environmental Quality
  2. What types of projects must comply with NEPA
  3. Categorical exclusion (CatEx)
  4. Extraordinary circumstances
  5. Environmental Assessment (EA)
  6. FONSI
  7. Environmental impact statement (EIS) 
  8. What information must be in an EIS?
  9. Lead Agency
  10. Cooperating Agency
  11. EPA role
  12. Public role
  13. Environmental Justice
 

Find:

  1. Sample of EIS data sheet

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

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



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. New Source Performance Standard
  10. Criteria Pollutant
  11. Air Toxics (aka Hazardous air pollutants HAP's)
  12. Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)
  13. Stationary source
  14. Mobile Source
  15. Emission
  16. Operating Permit
  17. Smog
  18. Acid Rain
  19. Stratospheric Ozone
  20. Ozone Depleting Chemicals
  21. Montreal Protocol
  22. Climate Change
  23. Greenhouse Gases
  24. UV Index
  25. 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. Waters of the United States
  3. Effluent
  4. Point source
  5. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
  6. Compliance Monitoring
  7. Storm Water Discharges
  8. Pretreatment Program
  9. Publicly owned treatment works (POTWs)
  10. Biosolids
  11. oil spill prevention
  12. concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO's)
  13. Run-off
  14. Non-point source
  15. Major examples of non-point pollution
  16. Wetland
  17. Designated use
  18. Water quality criteria
    1. aquatic life criteria
    2. biological criteria
    3. nutrient criteria
  19. Antidegradation
  20. Total maximum daily load (TMDL)

Find:

  • Map showing number of impaired waterways by state

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. Source water
  2. Public water system
  3. Contaminant
    1. Microbial contaminant
    2. Fecal Coliform Bacteria
    3. disinfectants
    4. disinfection byproducts
    5. Organic contaminant
    6. Inorganic contaminant
    7. radionuclides
  4. Maximum Contaminant Level MCL
  5. Maximum Contaminant Level Goal MCLG
  6. Primary Drinking Water Regulation
  7. Secondary Drinking Water Regulation
  8. Turbidity
  9. Cost-benefit analysis
  10. Consumer confidence report
  11. Underground injection well
  12. Haliburton Loophole
  13. Drinking water state revolving fund
  14. Operator certification
  15. Source water assessment programs

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. Oil spill
  2. Exxon Valdez incident
  3. Responsible party
  4. What is the responsible party liable for if oil is discharged?
  5. Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund
  6. National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan
  7. 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. Boxscore of endangered species (for current year)
  3. 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. UNEP
  13. IUCN
  14. Red List
  15. Import
  16. Export
  17. How is CITES financed?

Find:

  1. Flowchart of structure
  2. List of member nations
  3. 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. Source Reduction Clearinghouse
  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. What rights do workers have under OSHA?
  8. What responsibilities does your employer have under OSHA? 
  9. personal protective equipment (PPE) 
  10. Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
  11. Log of work Related Injuries (OSHA 300)
  12. Federal occupational safety and health standards 
  13. general duty clause
  14. inspections
  15. 5 Types of OSHA Inspections (in order of priority)
  16. List of violation types and fines
  17. Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) program

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. hazardous waste site
  3. Love Canal Disaster
  4. Preliminary assessment/Site Inspection
  5. Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) 
  6. Remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS)
  7. National priority list (NPL)
  8. Remedial design
  9. Removal action
  10. Remedial action
  11. Hazardous substances response trust fund (superfund)
  12. Potentially responsible parties (PRP’s)
  13. Record of Decision (ROD)
  14. SARA*

Find:

  1. US map showing superfund locations
  2. Number of locations currently on national priority list
  3. 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. Bhopal India Disaster
  2. State Emergency Response Commission (SERC)
  3. Emergency Planning Districts
  4. Local emergency planning committee (LEPC)
  5. Community emergency response plan
  6. What are the required elements of a community emergency response plan?
  7. Emergency release notification
  8. What must be included in the emergency notification?
  9. Written Follow-up Notice
  10. Toxic Chemical (general definition)
  11. Extremely hazardous substances
  12. CERCLA hazardous substances
  13. Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory Form (including what info must be on it)
  14. Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
  15. Table of EPCRA Chemicals and Reporting Thresholds
  16. What are the penalties for violating EPCRA
  17. Citizen Suits

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. Existing Chemical substance
  4. New Chemical substance
  5. Approximate number of chemical on list
  6. To whom does TSCA apply?
  7. TSCA Report
  8. What chemicals are excluded from this act?
  9. Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT)
  10. Premanufacture notice (PMN)
  11. Significant New Use Notice (SNUN)
  12. Can EPA require manufacturers/importers to test chemical substances?
  13. Significant Adverse Reaction
  14. Health and Safety Study

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. Ignitable
  4. Corrosive
  5. Reactive
  6. toxic
  7. Hazardous Waste Generator
  8. Cradle-to-grave responsibility
  9. Manifest system 
  10. Hazardous Waste Generator
  11. Land Disposal Restrictions
  12. treatment, storage and disposal (TSD) facilities
  13. universal wastes
  14. used oil standards
  15. underground storage tanks
  16. compliance evaluation inspection
  17. Comprehensive Groundwater Monitoring Evaluation

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. Emergency Exemption from Registrations
  7. Labeling of Pesticide Products
  8. General use pesticides
  9. Restricted use-pesticides
  10. Certified Applicator
  11. Reregistration

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

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

 

Last Updated:  December 15, 2014