Document Type


Publication Date



Many environmental statutes had their origins in disasters. And when disasters strike, the environmental laws come into play in the response. Some have urged Congress to adopt emergency exemptions so that the environmental laws do not interfere with rescue and recovery.

This article explains how disasters helped create our current statutes, and then describes the role that environmental laws played in the immediate response to the September 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. It catalogs the multiple exemptions that already exist in the current environmental statutes and regulations and then summarizes the exemptions that were proposed after Hurricane Katrina.


Environmental Law | Law


©2005 by the American Bar Association. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any or portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.


Sabin Center for Climate Change Law