Philip Weinberg


In this paper, Professor Philip Weinberg examines the relationships between local and state governments, in New York and elsewhere, in implementing environmental statutes. Particularly, Professor Weinberg focuses on the extent of federal and state preemption and enabling of towns in environmental areas including zoning, wetlands protection, and the regulation of air, water and solid and hazardous waste. The paper begins with a discussion about federal laws that provide for state implementation and enforcement. Professor Weinberg goes on to explore areas of state law where no comprehensive federal statute exists. In both situations, the paper describes various approaches taken by the states in dealing with the existence of local environmental laws, ranging from complete preemption to encouragement. Professor Weinberg concludes the paper with recommendations as to the most effective approaches.