Mexico has been busy. Or at least, its energy and environmental ministers have been. Over the last several years, Mexico has held its first auction for renewable energy contracts, opened its energy market to private competitors, and increased its renewable energy capacity by more than thirty times the level in 2008. At the same time, […]
Supreme Court allows lawsuits early in Clean Water Act permitting process, as Justice Kennedy ominously questions the Act's reach
The Supreme Court today dealt another blow to the Obama administration in a Clean Water Act case. The Court’s unanimous opinion in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., No. 15-290, addressed the finality of an Army Corps “approved jurisdictional determination” (JD) on whether a particular parcel of property contains “waters of the […]
New Berkeley Law report examines citizen actions addressing sanitary sewer overflows in California
(This post is co-authored with Nell Green Nylen and Michael Kiparsky.) Every day, Californians produce millions of gallons of wastewater. We tend to avoid thinking about what flows down our drains, but how we deal with sewage is a critically important aspect of public and environmental health. Most communities in California rely on an extensive […]
A comment by Justice Kennedy reminds us of just how much is at stake.
Every once in a while, we get reminded of just how much damage the conservative Justices could wreak on environmental law. Last week, Justice Kennedy created shock waves with a casual comment during oral argument. In a case that seemed to involved only a technical issue about administrative procedure, he dropped the suggestion that the […]
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 […]
A public-minded researcher discovers serious contamination of drinking water. His efforts to alert local officials are rebuffed. Concerned over how this will affect their reputation and the town’s economy, the authorities sit on the evidence and deny any problems. All the while, trusting people continue to drink unsafe water. While the setting may call to […]
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 […]
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 […]
Somehow, Congress managed to pass a pro-environmental law. Amazing!
Just before Christmas, the NY Times reported that Congress passed the Microbead Free Waters Act of 2015. The law bans nearly invisible small beads that have been added as abrasives to products like toothpaste. The trouble is that the beads get into waterways, where pollutants like PCBs adhere to their surfaces. Even more amazingly, the bill […]
More goods than bad, but some of each.
Here are the top ten stories, at least as I see them: A Warming World. 2015 will almost certainly be the warmest year on record. This is one more confirmation of recent studies indicating that either there was no climate hiatus or it has ended. Saving Wetlands and Water Bodies. EPA and the Army Corp […]