Environmental Justice

The Devil is in the Design: Forming California’s New Groundwater Agencies

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By Dave Owen and Mike Kiparsky

Cross-posting from the Environmental Law Prof Blog. This post was written by Dave Owen and Mike Kiparsky. It is based on a recent report, co-authored with Nell Green Nylen, Holly Doremus, Barb Cosens, Juliet Christian-Smith, Andrew Fisher, and Anita Milman.    Not that long ago, the opening words of one of Joe Sax’s articles described California pretty well. “We Don’t […]

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Another California Regulatory Agency in Crisis: Southern California’s Air Quality Management District Fires Longtime Executive Officer

Barry Wallerstein's Ouster from SCAQMD Signals Tilt Away from Protection of Public Health

In a move that shocked the environmental advocacy community and low-income communities of color that suffer most from the impacts of poor air quality in Los Angeles, the governing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District fired its longtime executive officer Barry Wallerstein today, voting 7-6 in closed session to remove him from […]

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The Tricky Problem of Cumulative Exposures

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A new UCLA report finds reason to be concerned about cumulative risk, and notes that under CA law regulators are required to act

We are all exposed to hundreds, if not thousands of chemicals through consumer products, air pollution, drinking water, and occupational exposures, just to name a few.  Yet chemicals and pollutants are largely assessed and regulated individually.  Increasingly, environmental health professionals have been attempting to grapple with assessing the risk of exposure to multiple chemicals. New […]

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Reflections on the Coastal Commission’s Implosion

The Implications of the Decision to Fire Charles Lester - and the Decision Not to Explain It

As Rick Frank insightfully discussed earlier this week, the California Coastal Commission has fired its former executive director, Charles Lester. Readers interested in more background information and analysis should read Rick’s post, as well as the excellent reporting by Tony Barboza and others from the LA Times. (And anyone who wants to hear about it […]

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The Flint Lead Crisis

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Three Interesting Notes About Lead Regulation and Exposure

At this point, you would need to be a hermit to have missed the news coverage of elevated levels of lead in the drinking water in Flint, MI. (Although even that might not be a valid excuse given an ancient, anonymous Roman hermit described lead poisoning). The short version is: in April 2014 a cash […]

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Air quality and wildfire

We may need to burn more to get less smoke

One of the impacts of California’s difficult fire season has been air pollution. Fires produce smoke. Large wildfires produce a lot of smoke. And large wildfires in the southern Sierra Nevada produce smoke in the southern Central Valley – the part of the United States that already has some of the worst air quality in […]

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DuPont Found Liable In First of 3,500 Lawsuits

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Chemical Used in Teflon Linked to Numerous Health Problems, but its Use is Still Legal Under TSCA

Yesterday, a jury in the Southern District of Ohio found DuPont liable for a woman’s kidney cancer in the first of 3,500 suits the company faces. The cases all stem from DuPont’s use and disposal of perflourooctanoic acid (PFOA) or C8. The chemical is used to make Teflon, among other things, and the most recent […]

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Pope Francis Goes to Washington

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What he said and didn’t say

Pope Francis arrived in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to begin a much anticipated trip to the United States. While here, the pope will visit DC, New York City, and Philadelphia. Pope Francis, a former chemist, has gained much attention for his calls for action on climate change, in addition to his focus on inequality and […]

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The Coal Export Wars Reach Oakland

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In seeking an alternative route to Asian markets, coal’s path from Utah to China via Oakland hits a snag

Expanded west coast infrastructure to support the export of western U.S. coal to Asian markets has long been part of the business plans for some of the nation’s largest coal producers. However, attempts by Powder River Basin coal interests to construct or expand coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon in recent years have been […]

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California Governor Jerry Brown: Environmental Saint or Sinner?

Gov. Brown in Rome, July 2015, Associated Press

Brown's National & International Environmental Reputation Disputed by Some California Environmentalists

California Governor Jerry Brown has had a most eventful 2015, especially when it comes to environmental policy.  He started the year fresh from an overwhelming election victory last November, earning him an unprecedented fourth term as California’s chief executive.  Brown began 2015 by declaring a state drought emergency and becoming California’s “educator-in-chief,” repeatedly warning state […]

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