citizen enforcement

Of sewage spills and citizen suits

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 …


In Memoriam: Joseph L. Sax, Gentleman, Scholar, Giant of Environmental Law

Visionary environmental advocate will be sorely missed, long remembered.

[Posted on behalf of all Legal Planet authors at Berkeley Law.] It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Joseph L. Sax, James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation (Emeritus) at Berkeley Law. Joe was our hero, our teacher, our mentor, our colleague, our friend. …


The Federal Government Shutdown and Environmental Enforcement

No government employees means less environmental enforcement

There’s lots of news coverage about the federal government shutdown.  Here’s an environmental angle to the impact of the shutdown.  Most of the employees for the various environmental agencies are “non-essential” personnel – including many of the enforcement personnel.  Here’s a local example from the Bay Area.  It seems a bunch of folks are taking …


Idle Chatter

WBUR’s Here and Now radio show recently covered the story of George Pakenham, the self-named “Verdant Vigilante.”  Pakenham roams the streets of New York City engaging in citizen enforcement of the city’s anti-idling law.  The law, which has been on the books in various forms since 1971, prohibits idling for greater than 3 minutes (1 …