In an environmental disaster, a disaster causes environmental harm, or an environmental change causes an acute risk to humans, or a combination of both takes place. Examples include the BP oil spill, the London killer fog of 1952, the 2003 European heat wave, and the 2011 Japanese tsunami. Climate change will intensify the connection between disaster issues and the environment. Given the interwoven nature of disasters and the environment, we should consider what environmental law and disaster law can learn from each other. Environmental law has the most to teach disaster law about risk management and prevention. Disaster law, in contrast, directs attention to issues of unequal risk exposure and to compensation as a supplement to risk mitigation.
© 2011 J. Reuben Clark Law School
Navigating the Intersection of Environmental Law and Disaster Law,
2011 BYU L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.byu.edu/lawreview/vol2011/iss6/1