why is environmental law important today?
Environmental law is the legal controls put in place to protect, maintain, and enhance the environment. Early efforts at environmental protection were limited. For example, early Romans had laws preventing smoke pollution; however, these were largely ignored. This lack of regulation continued for centuries for many reasons including lack of enforcement, ineffective laws, and powerful special interest groups. Today environmental law is controlled by three categories of regulations: common law, civil/quasi-criminal penalties, and criminal penalties. Environmental law varies from country to country. Legislation concerning the environment was initially developed on an international level in order to protect the environment globally through treaties such as The Vienna Convention on the Protection of the ozone layer and The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Environment law is important because it helps protect our planet and its inhabitants. The environment is a complex system that is easily damaged. For example, if a chemical plant leaks toxic material into a river, the entire ecosystem can be affected. The fish in the river may die, and the plants that rely on the fish for food will also perish. This will, in turn, affect the birds that eat the plants along with larger animals that feed on them. If this cycle is not somehow stopped it may continue to destroy the environment all around the river. Environment law helps prevent or stop activities that would damage ecosystems by controlling pollution levels and containment standards. In addition, environment law helps protect human health. For example, if a company is dumping toxic waste into the river, people living near the river may get sick from the pollution. Environment law can help prevent this by regulating what types of pollutants companies are allowed to dump and where they are allowed to dump them.