Environmental Law

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PAR 219

       Course Name: Environmental Law

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

PAR 101 and PAR 110, both with minimum grade of C. Recommended: PAR 113 and PAR 210 or consent of program coordinator.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course covers American environmental law. Topics include the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, the Endangered Species Act, wetlands, asbestos, and environmental racism. Emphasis is on the role of the paralegal in environmental law issues. Ethical issues dealing with environmental law are also discussed.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. demonstrate an understanding of environmental law in the United States.
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the role of the paralegal with regard to issues of  environmental law.
  3. demonstrate competency in resolving issues of environmental law.
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the ethical concerns that typically arise in a situation involving environmental law issues.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Introduction to Environmental Law
  2. Overview of the Environmental Protection Agency
  3. National Environmental Policy Act and Common Environmental Doctrines
  4. The Clean Air Act, 1900 - 1970
  5. The Clean Air Act, 1970 – Present
  6. The History of the Clean Water Act and the Present Statute
  7. The Clean Water Act—Regulations, Standards, and Technology
  8. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act, the 1980s
  9. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act, the 1990 Amendments and Superfund Reform
  10. Toxic Substance Control Act
  11. The Endangered Species Act
  12. Wetlands
  13. Environmental Racism
  14. Asbestos
  15. Ethics in Environmental Law

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lecture
  2. Class discussion
  3. Videotapes
  4. Class and individual projects

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Reading Assignments
  2. Writing Assignments

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Moya & Fono, Federal Environmental Law:  The User’s Guide, West Group, 2001

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Quizzes
  2. Midterm and final examinations
  3. Classroom participation

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.