Last month, more than two dozen law professors from around the country filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, urging a fresh look at a lower court decision with sweeping implications for the balance of power between states and the federal government. The issue is vital to Louisiana because it affects whether oil and gas […]
Houston failed to learn a key lesson from Katrina about the need to prepare for catastrophic flooding.
The torrential rain in Houston would have caused bad flooding no matter what. There’s no question about that. But it’s also true that Houston’s flood control efforts have been badly managed. Houston failed to learn a key lesson from Katrina: the most important disaster response is done years in advance through risk mitigation. Not only […]
New report from Berkeley Law’s CLEE outlines critical considerations for local groundwater markets under SGMA
Locals implementing California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) are rapidly turning from questions about who will manage groundwater and how they should approach institutional design to next-level questions: What does sustainability mean for a particular basin, and how will local managers achieve it? One of many potential management tools is a local groundwater market. SGMA opens the door […]
Emmett Institute’s Latest Pritzker Brief Looks at the Timeline and Legal Requirements for Implementing New Surface Water Storage Facilities
Surface water storage has become a hot topic in California. The recent drought led voters in 2014 to approve California’s Proposition 1 water bond, which, in part, earmarked $2.7 billion for the public benefits of storage projects. It’s very likely that at least some of that money will go to a large surface water storage […]
The Administration is Poised to Act, But Legal Challenges, Procedural Hurdles, and Internal Conflict Are Likely to Make It Difficult
On Monday, I posted a quick summary of the Trump administration’s recent action to start rolling back the Clean Water Rule, a joint rule by the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that defines the range of waterways the Clean Water Act protects. The proposed action the agencies announced last week, […]
This Action is Just the First Step Towards Reducing Clean Water Act Protection for Many Waterways and Wetlands
With much fanfare, the Trump administration announced last Tuesday that it is proposing to rescind the Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. This rule is intended to govern determinations of which waterbodies and wetlands are “waters of the United States,” protected under the Clean Water Act. The […]
H.R. 23 Would Preempt California State Water Law & Supersede Federal, State Environmental Statutes
Quite understandably, the attention of the media, environmental organizations and the general public has been focused on the myriad misadventures of the Trump Administration, now rumbling and stumbling through its fifth month. And, as recounted on Legal Planet since mid-January, those contretemps include a great deal of environmental mischief emanating from the Executive Branch. But it […]
Trump ordered agencies to reconsider Clean Water Act jurisdiction. Easier said than done.
President Trump ordered EPA and the Army Corps to review the Obama Administration’s WOTUS rule, which sets expansive bounds on federal jurisdiction over water bodies and wetlands. The agencies have sent the White House a proposal to rescind the WOTUS rule and revert to earlier rules until they can come up with a replacement. In my […]
Environmental Justice Expert Camille Pannu Selected to Lead Pioneering Clinic
The U.C. Davis Martin Luther King, Jr. School of Law has launched an exciting new Water Justice Clinic designed to advocate for clean, healthy and adequate water supplies for all Californians. The new Clinic is a project of the Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies, in partnership with the California Environmental Law and […]
The more we’ve learned about environmental problems, the less they seem purely local.
Voices in and out of the Trump Administration have called for a shift responsibility for environmental protection to the states. Given that none of them has ever shown enthusiasm for state environmental protection, it’s possible whether their rule concern is federalism or deregulation. (In fact, as NYU’s Ricky Revesz points out, Pruitt has generally opposed […]