36 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 1 (2018-2019)

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                         ARTICLE


           Cleaning Up Our Toxic Coasts:
  A  Precautionary and Human Health-Based
         Approach to Coastal Adaptation

                    ROBIN  KUNDIS  CRAIG*

    Hurricanes in the United States in 2005, 2012, and 2017 have
all revealed an  insidious problem  for coastal climate change
adaptation: toxic contamination in the coastal zone. As sea levels
rise and violent coastal storms become increasingly frequent, this
legacy of toxic pollution threatens immediate emergency response,
longer term human   health, and  coastal ecosystems' capacity to
adapt to changing coastal conditions.
    Focusing on Hurricane Harvey's 2017 devastation of Houston,
Texas, as its primary example, this Article first discusses the toxic
legacy still present in many coastal environments. It then examines
the existing laws available to clean up the coastal zone-CERCLA,
RCRA,  and  the Coastal Zone Management  Act at the federal level,
land use planning, and  state tort law-both to identify ways in
which  states and the federal government could  more effectively
implement  existing law and  to suggest improvements   to these
existing laws to more emphatically prioritize the elimination of
toxic  coastal  legacies. It  concludes   with  three  specific
recommendations   that precautionarily prioritize human health
considerations in coastal management   as a means  of reducing
coastal toxicity in the Anthropocene.




*  James I. Farr Presidential Endowed Professor of Law, University of Utah S.J.
   Quinney College of Law, Salt Lake City, UT. My thanks to Professor Jason
   Czarnezki, Managing Editor James J. Creech, and the staff of the Pace
   Environmental Law Review for inviting me to participate in their April 2018
   symposium on Climate Change, Coasts, and Precaution. This research was
   also made possible, in part, through generous support from the Albert and
   Elaine Borchard Fund for Faculty Excellence. The author may be reached at
   robin.craig@law.utah.edu.


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