Science & Environmental Health Network

Science, Ethics and Action in the Public Interest
Science & Environmental Health Network - Law for the Ecological Age

It is clear that our current legal system is not serving our health or environment. Something has to change. But what? Here are some ideas from the SEHN think-and-do tank.

Models for Protecting the Environment for Future Generations October 2008 describes how ombudsmen, guardians, and other legal instruments could help guarantee a habitable planet for future humans.

Model State Constitutional Provisions & Model Statute November 2008 provides actual blueprint laws that states and tribes can use to implement these instruments and fulfill the ethical mandate to guarantee a livable world for future generations.

Designing A Model State Environmental Quality Act For 2007
Nancy Myers, M.A.
It is time to bring out the new models. Environmental laws, like automobiles, are due for a major redesign.

One place to start is with state environmental quality legislation. Fewer than 20 states have their own environmental quality acts, or "little NEPAs," most of them developed in the 1970s when the environment was high on the national agenda as well. Now more states are considering such legislation, especially as federal rules and enforcement have been gutted and subordinated to the politics of business interests.

Model State Environmental Equality Act of 2007
Chapter 1: Statement of Policy and Intent.

The Legislature finds and declares that it is the policy of the State to do the following:
(A) Recognize that the State holds the environment in public trust for the benefit of all the people of the State, and therefore has an obligation to develop and maintain a high quality environment for present and future generations and to take all action necessary to protect, rehabilitate, and enhance the environmental quality of the State.

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