Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


Perhaps following broader legal trends, the Eleventh Circuit's environmental law decisions in this survey period suggest a rise in the importance of state law, both as it might impact enforcement of federal environmental programs and as a source of independent environmental remedies. As an example of the former, the court narrowed the extent to which the absence of a state-level program to implement the federal Clean Water Act's permit requirement shields a member of the regulated community from the obligation to obtain a permit. As an example of the latter, the court affirmed an award of $4,350,000 in punitive damages on a common-law nuisance theory in a case in which the actual damages totaled only $47,000 and the administrative penalties under the stateenforced clean water regulations totaled only $10,000.

As with earlier environmental law survey articles, this Article will not review basic statutory schemes unless the Eleventh Circuit has not previously interpreted the statute in question. For readers seeking background on the law, a brief overview of those statutes can be found in earlier survey articles.