Archive for Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring 2013)

Environmental Tax Policy in the United States: A “Bit” of History

By Mona L. Hymel – If environmental tax policy addresses the development of new energy sources—“environmentally friendly” energy—this Article analyzes the “non‑environmental” tax history of our old energy sources, primarily oil and gas (not “environmentally friendly”). Through a historical analysis of federal tax incentives and subsidies used to build the existing energy industry, the Article demonstrates that the United States must provide significant investment incentives in renewable and alternative energy technology if we hope to achieve a sustainable society.

Privacy Issues Surrounding the Tracking and Sharing of Boat Movement Information as Part of Invasive Species Prevention Programs

By Nicole Giffin – In 2007, quagga mussels were discovered in Lake Mead and have since spread throughout the southwestern United States. Because of the serious ecological and economic problems that the mussels create, all Western states have developed inspection and decontamination stations to help stop the spread of these invasive species to new bodies of water. This article discusses the Fourth Amendment and Privacy Act of 1974 issues associated with watercraft tracking and proposes other means of achieving states’ goals.

Assessing the Viability of Zebra and Quagga Mussels: Legal and Enforcement Challenges

By Terra H. Bowling – Zebra and quagga mussels entered the United States in the late 1980s and most recently appeared in several Western states. Western states are anxious to stop the spread of these invasive species, which wreak havoc on native ecosystems and water delivery infrastructure. However, variability among state and federal law presents a challenge to stopping the spread of the mussels. This Article examines the issues that arise when laws prohibit only the transport of “live” mussels.

Are State Watercraft Inspections Constitutionally Permissible Searches?

By Emi Kondo, Paula Cotter, and Stephanie Showalter Otts – In response to the discovery of quagga and zebra mussels in the region, many Western states have developed and implemented watercraft inspection programs to prevent the transport of quagga and zebra mussels to unaffected waters. This Article addresses the states’ legal authority to implement watercraft inspection programs to prevent the further spread of invasive mussels, focusing primarily on the permissibility of such programs under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Preventing the Spread of Zebra and Quagga Mussels: The Role of the Lacey Act

By Rachel White & Stephanie Showalter Otts – The Lacey Act contains two key provisions. Title 16 prohibits wildlife trafficking and elevates the violation of state, tribal, or foreign wildlife laws to federal offenses. Title 18 prohibits the importation and interstate transportation of listed injurious species, including zebra mussels. This Article provides an overview of Title 16 and 18 and discusses the federal enforcement challenges associated with invasive mussel cases. The Article concludes with a discussion of the states’ primary enforcement role and proposals for Lacey Act reform.

Legislative and Regulatory Efforts to Minimize Expansion of Invasive Mussels through Watercraft Movements

By Stephanie Showalter Otts & Terra Bowling – This Article provides an overview of the quagga and zebra mussel invasion, including environmental and economic impacts, and highlights the recent legislative and regulatory efforts of Western states to slow the geographic expansion of dreissenid mussels. The Article concludes with a brief discussion of the ongoing challenges associated with zebra and quagga mussel prevention.