Pollution & Health

The Ninth Circuit’s Top Environmental Law Decisions of 2016

Climate Change, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Constitutional Challenges Dominate Court of Appeals’ Docket

In 2016, at least, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was the most important and influential court in the nation when it comes to environmental law.  That’s true for two reasons: first, the U.S. Supreme Court only issued one significant environmental law decision last year, in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes […]

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Update on the Litigation Over EPA’s Rule Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Power Plants

UCLA Faculty File Amicus Brief on Behalf of Technological Innovation Experts

Late in 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency issued New Source Performance Standards to control greenhouse gas emissions from new and modified fossil-fuel-fired power plants under the Clean Air Act. This regulation is a companion to the more-often-discussed Clean Power Plan rule, which addresses greenhouse gas emissions from existing sources in the power generation sector. Last […]

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Trump’s Public Statements Aren’t Relevant in Assessing His Likely Climate Policy

The Media Need to Take Trump’s Advisors, and Their Policy Proposals, More Seriously Than They Take Trump’s Off-the-Cuff Comments

The media need to get their act together when they report and editorialize about President-elect Donald Trump’s public statements.  Chief among many failures in reporting on the campaign was the tendency of major newspapers and television outlets to focus on candidates’ rhetoric, symbolism, and character, to the virtual exclusion of governance and policy. This contributed […]

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TSCA Update: EPA Selects First 10 Chemicals for Risk Evaluation

Asbestos included in first 10 chemicals EPA will evaluate for human and environmental risks under TSCA

Today EPA released a list of the first ten chemicals it will evaluate for risks to human health and the environment under the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  These ten chemicals, drawn from a list of 90 in EPA’s 2014 TSCA Work Plan, will undergo complete risk evaluations within three years.  If EPA finds […]

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What Will Trump Do? Maybe Not What We Expect.

If he cares about 2020, he’ll have to do some recalibrating.

To be honest, no one really knows what Trump will do. Maybe not even Trump. The obvious is often the safest best. In this post, I’m going to speculate about another, slightly less dire, possibility. He may take the most obvious path – which would mean ripping the heart out of our environmental laws. For instance, he […]

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What Does a Trump Presidency Portend for California’s Environmental Policies?

Constitutional Issues Loom Large in Future, Likely Federal-California Legal Confrontations

Sensing political storm clouds ahead, California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday issued a statement on the presidential election results that concludes: “We will protect the precious rights of our people and continue to confront the existential threat of our time–devastating climate change.” Several of my Legal Planet colleagues have recently posted thoughtful commentary on what Donald Trump’s […]

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Of Initiative Wars, Plastic Bags and Poison Pills

Deciphering California’s (Intentionally) Confusing Plastic Bag Propositions

California’s longstanding efforts to eliminate single-use plastic bags from the marketplace and the environment have finally reached California voters. The November 8th general election ballot contains a breathtaking 17 separate propositions–16 proposed initiative measures and one referendum measure.   Propositions 65 and 67 both deal with the same subject–a proposed ban on single-use plastic bags.  Those dueling measures […]

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Celebrating California’s Climate Change Leadership

State Government Leaders From Both Parties Celebrate AB 32’s Tenth Anniversary

In stark contrast to a dysfunctional national government and an utterly dispiriting presidential campaign, Sacramento, California was today the site of an inspirational, bipartisan celebration.  Current California Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and his predecessor, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, joined past and present state legislative leaders to commemorate the 10th anniversary of California’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, better known as […]

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Idling Cars, Dirty Air

The pollution isn’t just indoors. It’s also inside the car or bus.

Being stuck in traffic is even worse than you thought. A new study, reported in yesterday’s NY Times, “pollution levels inside cars at red lights or in traffic jams are up to 40 percent higher than when traffic is moving.” But things could be worse: you could be a kid on an older school bus. […]

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“We’re Not, You Know, People That Don’t Want Those Things”

Trump promises clean air, clean water, safety, and a free lunch.

Every now and then, you see a car with one bumper sticker that says “Support Our Troops” and another that says “Abolish the IRS.”  It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the car’s owner that supporting our troops includes paying and equipping them, and that someone is going to have to collect the taxes to […]

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