The purpose of this Article is to describe the general system of environmental regulation in the European Community (“EC”) and to offer a practical perspective on that system. In order to do so, the Article has several parts. Following this introduction, Section II provides a brief overview of the European Community, its institutions and its basic approach to environmental regulation. Section III offers observations as to some of the major differences in approach to environmental regulation between the EC and the United States. By way of example of how the system works in practice, Sections IV and V provide more detailed reviews of the EC’s efforts to address the problems of safely managing hazardous wastes and responding to contaminated sites. Finally, in Section VI, some conclusions are drawn as to the implications of recent developments in EC environmental regulation for companies operating or investing in Europe.