Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2008


This Article focuses on the future scope of environmental standing after Massachusetts v. EPA. Injury in fact has been and remains the most controversial component of the environmental standing test within and outside the context of global environmental harms. Part I of this Article discusses the background context of environmental standing for global environmental harms and its corresponding origins in procedural and substantive injury claims in cases involving purely domestic environmental harms. Part II examines the landmark decision in Massachusetts v. EPA and considers how it confirms and extends standing jurisprudence for global environmental harms, yet fails to resolve some important questions in interpreting the effect of the decision on environmental standing in future cases. Part III examines the potential ramifications of Massachusetts v. EPA on the narrower context of pending and future climate change litigation, whereas Part IV analyzes the decision's potential implications on environmental standing more generally in contexts beyond climate change litigation. The Article concludes that environmental standing jurisprudence will continue to play an important part in enabling citizens to identify and seek relief for climate change impacts; however, it must do so in a way that draws on risk assessment methodology to confirm the validity of the risk-based theories that litigants allege to avoid the potential for an unwelcome flood of claims that the courts are not qualified to address.