Instructor Information

Kurt Riegel

Cell Phone: 410-507-2999

Dr. Riegel has a varied professional background. He was a federal senior executive, serving as Director of Environment, Safety & Health of the Naval Sea Systems Command; Director of Environmental Technology for the Secretary of the Navy; EPA's Associate Director of Environmental Engineering and Technology, Head of the National Science Foundation's National Astronomy Centers, and Director of the Consumer Products Division, Department of Energy. He has served as consultant to RAND Corporation, Aerospace Corporation and Antares Group. University faculty appointments have included Assistant Professor at UCLA; Visiting Executive in Residence at Washington & Lee University; a course at Virginia Tech in Energy Planning & Management; and a course at George Washington University in Hazardous Waste Management. He has a B.A. in physics from Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in astronomy & astrophysics from University of Maryland. He is a graduate of the Program for Management Development, Harvard Business School.

Course Information

Course Description

The course covers compliance with environmental laws and regulations by industry, small business, government facilities, and others. It includes legal responsibilities, environmental management systems, and practices such as audits and information systems and development of corporate policies and procedures that rise to the daunting challenge to harmonize the institution's primary goals with its environmental obligations. Several dimensions of environmental management are discussed: federal, state, and local regulation; scientific/technical factors; public relations and the press; and institutional objectives including economic competitiveness.

Course Goal

This course in environmental compliance management defines management responsibilities and approaches for success in organizations of all types:  government, corporations, and other institutions. Nowadays managers of nearly any kind, regardless of their job title, assume some environmental responsibilities and need techniques for meeting them.

Although the course is set in a context of legal and regulatory obligations that face managers, this is not a law course. Rather, it covers management considerations, approaches, and techniques that a manager can draw on to meet the daunting challenge of harmonizing an institution's primary goals with its environmental obligations.  
Because the legal framework is fundamental to environmental compliance and management in the United States, the Environmental Law Handbook was chosen, more as a reference book than as a textbook. Either the 22nd Edition or the 21st Edition are fine. 
Many facets are touched on: federal, state and local regulation; scientific/technical factors; public relations and the press; institutional objectives including economic competitiveness; community relations; dealing with government and regulators; wise use of professional associations and elected officials, etc.   Included are environmental compliance systems, audits, chain of command considerations within your organization, how to find resources to meet your challenges, and even a few political considerations.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the structure and principal aspects of of US environmental law and regulation
  • Describe responsibilities that managers have under those laws and regulations 

  • Describe other responsibilities and opportunities related to environmental obligations open to managers for advancing the organization’s goals, even in the face of ambiguities and conflict.
  • Decribe how to employ techniques described in the course to manage organizations, personnel, and external resources in ways most helpful to meeting those responsibilities.

When This Course is Typically Offered

Spring 2018, Online


  • Introductions and The System of Environmental Law
  • Environmental Management & ISO 14001
  • Management: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Management: Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)
  • Management: Clean Air Act (CAA)
  • Management: Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • First Compliance Plan, and Midterm Examination
  • Management: Oil Pollution Act, Safe Drinking Water
  • Management: Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability
  • Management: National Environmental Policy , Climate Change
  • Management: Toxic Substances Control, Pollution Prevention
  • Management: Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know
  • Environmental Management Summary, International, & Final Discussion
  • Second Compliance Plan & Final Examination .

Student Assessment Criteria

Participation in discussion assignments 20%
Mid-term Compliance Plan Paper 25%
Mid-term Exam 15%
Final Compliance Plan Paper 25%
Final Exam 15%

Clarity of written expression is essential, and must display not only comprehension of fact but also a deeper understanding of issues and how to address them from a sound management standpoint.

Computer and Technical Requirements

TEXTBOOK. The section below provided no opoortunity to enter textbook information, and so it is entered here.  The book recommended for this course is more a Reference book than a Textbook.  The management topics of the course are interwoven with an environmental law/regulation framework that drives management considerations. Environmental Law Handbook, either of the last two editions is fine.  It is available from a variety of new and used sources, do an online search.

Participation Expectations

This course depends critically on a student's ability to express himself clearly and grammatically in writing. 

The student writes two significant papers in this course, which are a key indicator of his mastery of course material, and must be complete, factually correct, imaginative, and must exhibit a focus on the management (as opposed to legal) aspects of the subject matter.

Weekly participation in online discussion is necessary and important. Students are expected to understand the postings of others and to contribute thoughtful and original postings of their own.


Textbook information for this course is available online through the MBS Direct Virtual Bookstore.

Course Notes

There are notes for this course.

Final Words from the Instructor

We will be communicating mainly by using the written word. An ability to write clearly and smoothly is an essential skill for participating effectively in Forum discussions, and writing examination papers of high quality. 

Please strive to be clear, grammatical, using words appropriately and spelling them correctly. Avoid overuse of technical jargon, undefined acronyms, and flowery language. Choose a conversational style over bookish formality. 
And … do not fear to employ a light touch that brings a little humor now and then, for your own entertainment and to enliven discussion with your student colleagues, while also being faithful to the serious purpose of the course.

(Last Modified: 01/11/2018 03:18:49 PM)