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 […]
An new analysis highlights how harmful the cuts would be.
The Environmental Protection Network, a coalition of former EPA professionals, has issued a detailed analysis of Trump’s proposed EPA budget. We knew the proposal was bad, but the new analysis shows just how damaging the proposed cuts would be on many different dimensions. Here are a few key takeaways. First EPA’s budget is already lean. Adjusting […]
As you dive into the details, things keep looking worse.
Trump is proposing huge cuts to EPA and other agencies. That’s bad enough. We’re beginning to learn more details, and the message is grim. While these cuts may not emerge from Congress at the end of the day, they do express the Administration’s goals. In particular, they demonstrate that the Administration is deeply hostile to environmental science and […]
How will we cope with a huge population increase and climate change?
Let’s look past today’s political travails and think longer-range. What will things look like in 2050? There are more details below, but here’s the general picture. World population will probably grow by 2.5 billion people between now and 2050, with about half of the increase in Africa. Given historically weak economic growth in those areas […]