Taking Slippage Seriously: Noncompliance and Creative Compliance in Environmental Law, 23 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 297 (1999)
Environmental law is examined in light of the slippage between regulatory standards and the actual conduct of regulated parties. Two forms of slippage are identified: negative, which describes the situation where something that is legally mandated to happen fails to happen; and affirmative, which describes the situation where required standards are renegotiated rather than ignored. This concept of slippage is explored in terms of how it might inform discussions of legal doctrine, environmental policy, and environmental pedagogy. Slippage is good in the context that it can ameliorate the sometimes impractical demands found in statues, and bad in the context that it has an inevitable cost in terms of damage of our concept of the rule of law.