Online Environmental Training | EPA Institute

Back to Basics of Environmental Law

Course Description

Back to Basics of Environmental Law course is designed to introduce environmental lawyers and professionals to major environmental regulations and laws as they exist today. Even though this course is geared toward law professionals, environmental professionals, such as environmental managers and technical staff who require environmental law knowledge to establish the compliance in their workplace, can also benefit from this course. This dynamic and interactive 20 hour course reviews the background of each environmental law/regulation, carries you into the specifics, and provides expert insights into the actual practice of law. Back to Basics of Environmental Law covers the following topics:

Introduction to Environmental Law

This module of the course provides a brief introduction to all major environmental laws and regulations, such as the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA).

Clean Air Act (CAA)

This module of the course covers the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). This module provides a legislative overview of the CAA and describes in detail the history of Clean Air Act. This includes Criteria Pollutants, their health effects and the achievements of CAA. After providing a framework of the scope of the Act, the course will review each major CAA title (as modified by the 1990 Amendment).

Clean Water Act (CWA)

This module of the course provides insight on the controls focused on discharges to surface water, which evolved out of The Clean Harbors Act of 1899. Pollution controls were added in 1948, 1956 and 1965. In 1972, limits on point source discharges were developed to place theoretical limits of contaminants that bodies of water could handle. This course provides a foundation to help you understand the use and need for clean water with an ever-growing demand for it.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

This module of the course is an in-depth study of the application of hazardous waste regulations with an emphasis on generator compliance, site investigation and remediation, permitting, enforcement, and liability. This module also provides an in-depth examination of the regulation of toxic and hazardous substances, and this course will address major federal legislation regarding the management and disposal of hazardous wastes and the clean-up of disposal sites (toxic waste dumps) contaminated by hazardous substances. This module also addresses associated disposal and clean-up issues, such as those involving state restrictions on the interstate and international transportation of hazardous wastes, criminal and civil liabilities for illegal activities, and insurance coverage for clean-up liability. Information on how to comply with the 2006 Hazardous Waste Manifest changes is also included.

Hazardous Material Transportation Act (HMTA)

This module of the course is intended to serve as an introduction to the principles, regulations, policies and opinions of environmental regulation and hazardous materials management and transportation. Upon completion, the student will have a working knowledge of various aspects of hazardous materials as they relate to compliance with current federal, state and local environmental regulations. The course provides an overview of the requirements to safely transport hazardous materials. It also includes a discussion of some of the regulatory requirements of the Department of Transportation.

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)

This module of the course provides students with a basic understanding of many of the major provisions of CERCLA that are currently in place, including release reporting requirements in CERCLA Section 103 and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) Sections 302-312. This module provides an in-depth review of the Remedial investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) process as it applies to DOE’s environmental restoration program. Topics include Superfund program, cleanup and abatement orders, release reporting, the National Contingency Plan (NCP), the administrative record and the hazard ranking system. At the conclusion of this module, students will have knowledge of appropriate regulations and work practices subject to hazardous waste management and cleanup requirements.

Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA)

This module of the course presents emergency manaegment theories, principles, and approaches. It is designed to help a facility owner or operator comply with the reporting requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA), Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. s. 11001, et seq. (SARA). An analysis of past disasters will be presented along with their impacts on policy formation leading up to the current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) all-hazards approach. The role, duties, and importance of the Emergency Manager will be discussed throughout the Module. Finally, legal issues involving emergency management will be presented.

Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA)

TSCA is a broad-ranging federal environmental statute affecting not only chemical manufacturers but also companies that use, process, distribute, import, and export chemical products as well. The module is an overview of TSCA’s key provisions, including requirements for Pre-manufacture Notification (PMN), testing, and regulation of chemicals, as well as recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

This module offers a general review of the US laws and regulations on FIFRA and regulations in terms of regulatory scope, implementation schedules, and compliance requirements. It is designed for professionals involved in all aspects of FIFRA in either manufacture or applications of these products. This training will be beneficial for those in the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and other consumer products industries. It provides a review of the federal pesticide laws and regulations, including FIFRA.

Endangered Species Act (ESA)

Focusing primarily on the federal Endangered Species Act, this course provides in-depth study of the law and the decision processes used by wildlife managers. The module will include detailed review of the Endangered Species Act, major rules promulgated under the Act, “on-the-ground” applications, and case studies, which put the student in the shoes of policy-makers. The module is intended to be comprehensive in its perspective, looking at policy decisions from the viewpoint of agency personnel, environmental advocates, water and land development managers, and citizens at large.