A dissertation submitted to the Faculty in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctorate in Judicial Studies (S.J.D.) in environmental law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, under the supervision of Professor Karl Coplan.

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This dissertation introduces the U.S. and China’s environmental governance evolution, the background of their private enforcement provisions, including each country’s environmental legislative, administrative, and judicial development before establishing private enforcement. After the introduction, the second section examines the U.S. environmental citizen suits’ origin, environmental movements during the 1960s and 1970s, and pioneer ENGOs’ legal experiences. Statutory provisions are reviewed in various aspects in order to fully present this significant U.S. private enforcement measure. The third section analyzes the trajectory of Chinese ENGO EPIL development, including the provisions and typical actions according to several scattered provisions. Section four compares the theoretical and procedural distinctions between the two. Finally, in section five, specific legislation and implementation recommendations to Chinese legislatures and growing Chinese ENGOs are also discussed. One recommendation is to comprehensively legislate an Environmental Public Interest Relief Law in China by integrating statutesto reframe a sound legal system with a rectified understanding of the U.S. environmental citizen-suit system. Another suggestion is to encourage ENGOs to positively and actively reinforce their professionalism through achievable and practical actions based on steady resources and altruistic ethical compliance. As a vital type of private enforcement, ENGO EPIL actions would be oriented to assuring environmental governance compliance to ultimately promote the fundamental and comprehensive environmental governance pattern, environmental administrative enforcement. The recommendations will help systematically realize and regulate environmental EPIL proceedings and continually promote the primary environmental administrative enforcement in an increasingly open and inclusive social context in the coming future.