environmental impact statements
Trump’s NEPA proposal flunks Torts as well as Environmental Science 101.
Last week’s NEPA proposal bars agencies from considering many of the harms their actions will produce, such as climate change. These restrictions profoundly misunderstand the nature of environmental problems and are based on the flimsiest of legal foundations. Specifically, the proposal tells agencies they do not need to consider environmental “effects if they are remote …CONTINUE READING
Trump is proposing big changes to CEQ regs. But they may not matter.
The Trump Administration is trying to gut the current White House rules on environmental impact statements. Some people view this move as a death blow to an important environmental tool. Here’s what Trump is trying to do and why it may not matter as much as people fear. As to what Trump & Co. are …CONTINUE READING
The new guidance on climate change is a step forward, though it could have been stronger.
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued new guidance today on considering climate change in environmental impact statements. Here are the key points: Quantification. The guidance recommends that agencies quantify projected direct and indirect emissions, using the amount of emissions as a proxy for the eventual impact on climate change. The EIS should also …CONTINUE READING
Environmental lawyers and policy wonks know that the California Supreme Court’s famed decision in Nat’l Audubon Soc’y v. Superior Court, better known as the Mono Lake case, saved California’s second-largest lake from drying up. And to some extent this is true: I am working on a full-length book about the case, and so far that story seems to check out. …CONTINUE READING
Apparently, the lease grant to BP was exempted from environmental review, according to the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin: The decision by the department’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP’s lease at Deepwater Horizon a “categorical exclusion” from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 — and BP’s lobbying efforts just 11 …CONTINUE READING
Government agencies are struggling with how to fit climate change into the process of environmental review. At one level, this is a no-brainer. Greenhouse gases contribute to climate change, and climate change is the biggest environmental impact of all. But as always, the devil is in the details.CONTINUE READING
NEPA — the National Environmental Policy Act — is the forgotten elderly relative of environmental law. Its requirement of environmental impact statements is now frequently avoided by a clever workaround. Rather than issuing an environmental impact statement, an agency adopts mitigation measures that are supposed to reduce the legal of environmental impacts below the trigger …CONTINUE READING