|Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship||Fall 1997|
Two preliminary chapters provide legal background for layreaders: "Fundamentals of Environmental law', followed by "Enforcement and Liability". Fourteen chapters follow, each dealing with a particular legislative or administrative environmental statute and written by a legal or administrative expert in that area, including Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Oil Pollution Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund) among others. Each is a narrative chapter, beginning with an overview of the issues and legislative history , followed by an exposition of the Act which includes definitions of terms, discussion of ambiguities or controversies related to the issues, and analysis of specific sections of the Acts, with legal references to sections of code. Text of the statutes themselves is not included.
A strength of the title is its focus on the issues out of which each Act grew, and the balanced presentation of the problems and controversies inherent in these laws, along with the exposition of the major elements of the Acts. Extensive footnotes include detailed reference to the laws and codes, although a consolidated listing of these as an Appendix would be useful for quicker reference.
Drawbacks include heavy use of acronyms throughout most chapters, and while each acronym is defined the first time it appears, the absence of a coordinated glossary of acronyms makes reading unnecessarily difficult in some of the sections. The index is cumbersome, again because of inconsistencies between the use of full phrases and acronyms. The expanded Table of Contents functions as a highly detailed outline of each environmental act and is more useful than the index. The chapters are uneven in their clarity and the balance between common language and legal terminology.
This edition is recommended for academic libraries which support engineering, public health and public policy, as well as reference collections in larger public libraries. It will serve as a beginning entry into the complexities of environmental regulation.