Standard Article

Law and Environmental Statistics

Environmental Policy and Regulation

  1. Sylvia R. Esterby

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.val007.pub2

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Esterby, S. R. 2013. Law and Environmental Statistics . Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 3.

Author Information

  1. University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


Many environmental regulations and standards are based on statistical data and inferences drawn from them. Often the statistical analysis used by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other governmental body, in developing an exposure or effluent limit or a monitoring program, is challenged by the industry or public interest group that is most affected by its decision. Then, the courts need to examine the record on which the EPA or other agency relied in setting the standard. Because there are several statutes regulating the environment in the United States as well as in Europe, in assessing the adequacy of the underlying scientific support of a regulation or protocol, one needs to be aware of the relevant statute. This article discusses several important statistical issues that have arisen in actual cases and briefly describe some other topics that arise in this area.


  • environmental law;
  • regulations;
  • risk assessment;
  • statistical reasoning;
  • sampling and monitoring;
  • serial dependence;
  • air and water quality;
  • statistical analysis